Leviathan is a dual show concept by Steve Maher and Anastasia Artemeva, in which the gallery of Oksasenkatu 11 is re-configured as the digestive system of an imagined leviathan, delving deep into the depths of the galleries core, basement level, the audience will be immersed within an artwork installation through the arrangement of lighting, sound, scent, video and objects.
Ambergris (A substance used in the perfuming industry, originally harvested from the stomachs of whales burning in and oil burner
Leviathan takes advantage of Oksasenkatu’s unique gallery layout as a space with basement access, Oksasenkatu 11 is a deceptive space, architecturally it is much larger than initial perceptions.
Throughout literature and mythology the leviathan re-occurs as allegory. In some tales it is a beast of sea, a giant fish or whale. In others it is an organisation, something which underpins the fabric of our world, engulfing it, consuming it, becoming a world itself. From the biblical parable of Jonah to the folk-tale of Pinocchio, the individual consumed into the depth of a beast who must escape or live for the rest of their days struggling against the digestive acids wishing to consume them re-occurs time and time again. Its origins are thought to have come from the oldest known tale, the epic of Gilgamesh.
The reality of being consumed by a giant whale or sea creature is far less fantastic. One is more than likely to succumb to drowning, asphyxiation and the grinding of teeth before one would ever manage to construct a crude shelter within made of shipwrecks and flotsam. There is one supposed case of a “real world Jonah” in the tale of James Bartley although nautical historians have since disproven what clearly began as drunken embellishment. The reality of the cetacean beings which inhabit these planets oceans are not the gigantic monstrosos which litter our mythologies, the reality is incredibly complex social animals who everyday come closer and closer to extinction.