Where We All Meet is a site-specific project, looking at the life cycle of the critically endangered European eel, tracing its migration between the Sargasso sea located within the Bermuda triangle, lake Ohrid in North Macedonia, and the river Thames in the UK. Taking place at the main peer in the city of Ohrid, the work consisted of holographic projections onto the lake itself, followed by a 360 VR video, seen through VR cardboard headsets.
This is a story about two eels – Bisera and Alice, from the Ohrid lake, North Macedonia and The Thames in the UK respectively. They magically start a telepathic conversation, sharing their life experiences, adventures and fantasies about the journey back. Finally, the VR piece imagines the eels’ act of love in the Sargasso Sea, an act so elusive that remains a mystery to this day.
All European eels are born in the same place, the depths of the Sargasso sea, part of the Atlantic ocean. Carried by the Gulf Stream, they travel for almost two years in order to get to European rivers and lakes, where they spend most of their lives until they reach maturity. Ready to take their way back, the eels embark on a ‘wedding journey’ to the Sargasso sea where they reproduce. However, the eel population is in rapid decline due to dams, polluted waters and climate change. Bisera will never get to migrate back to the Sargasso sea – there are 6 dams between Ohrid lake and the Adriatic sea, rendering the journey back impossible.
Through the use of immersive technology and holographic projections onto the lake itself, the work aims to raise awareness of the broken migration route of this critically endangered animal, whose population has been in rapid decline due to pollution, climate change and human-made barriers.
Curator: Ana Frangovska
Music and Sound design: Ivan Trajchev
Water Screen Production: Nikola Kumev
Dancers: Jasmina Bilalovik, Hristina Cvetkoska
Voice Actors: Marija Kaeva, Alexandra Wilkinson
3D Animation: Dimitri Kajhanidis
Publication Design: Igor Sekovski
Photography: Marko Vilikj
Where We All Meet is funded by the Prince Claus Fund and Goethe Institut through the Artistic and Cultural Responses to Environmental Change strand.