The Aquarium

2006 | 00:22:10 | United States | English | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | HD video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Animals, Blu-ray, Environment

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Filmed primarily in Alaska, The Aquarium contrasts the openness of the primeval Arctic landscape with the entrapment of captured sea mammals in aquariums. It speaks of the progressive destruction of these animals’ habitat, seeing beyond the alluring spectacle.

“This is not a “message movie” transposed to a gallery setting; its formal strategies set it firmly in the realm of art, and ultimately the message, if there is one, is tantalizingly ambivalent. The final image is that of a startlingly bright orange octopus being lifted out of a tank of water by a latex-gloved hand. The octopus immediately wraps its tentacles around the hand, and each time the human tries to remove it, the creature attaches its suckers ever more tightly, refusing to let go or to give up.”

— Claire Barliant, Artforum

Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.


Alona Kagan Gallery
New York, NY

Exhibitions + Festivals

Athens International Film/Video Festival, Athens, OH, 2012

HYPERVISION, Westport Arts Center, Westport, CT, 2006

Maui Film Festival, Hawaii, 2006

Anthology Film Archives, New York, 2006

Flaherty Seminar, Colgate University, 2009

Anthology Film Archives, New York, 2009

International House, Philadelphia, 2011

Hamilton College, New York, 2011


Stuttgarter Filmwinter Wand (Germany), 2012