Clive Holden & Jan Jelinek: SEASCAPE – diptych (2022)



Clive Holden & Jan Jelinek

SEASCAPE – diptych (2022)



This audio-visual artwork, a long-distance collaboration between Clive Holden (Canada) and Jan Jelinek (Germany), was made with found materials from John Huston’s 1956 epic film, Moby Dick

Jan Jelinek’s role was to create a score as an equal partner to the visuals. Maintaining a balance of contribution was a key goal for the pair, and as it turned out, the movie’s infamous Captain Ahab was to exist in the work as an aural component. His voice became molecularly infused throughout via a reconstructed oratorical soundscape. Reducing to essential elements, Jelinek dissolved and reconstituted Ahab’s mesmerizing, maniacal speeches. He transformed them into raw notes, to be played on a synthesizer.

Clive Holden’s role was visual, and his focus became the film’s eponymous hero, the giant whale, and especially its movements. The curves they described seemed infinite, but also trapped within the rectangle of the movie frame. This was contrasted by the staccato, stabbing circularities of the film’s drowning men, and the lyrical stoicism of the women’s Greek Chorus. The black lines and translucent color palette are reminiscent of stained glass.