The Whalebone Box

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    The Whalebone Box

    Directed by

    United Kingdom


    84 min

    • English


    A box made of whale bone, entangled in a fisherman’s net was washed up on a remote beach in the Outer Hebrides. Once touched, the box can change lives.
    The box was given to Iain Sinclair almost thirty years ago by Steve Dilworth, a sculptor based on the Island of Harris. It was always intended to be an active thing, kill or cure. An animal battery. And part of the power of the crafted box comes from its lack of signature. At best this object has the anonymity and moral authority of tribal art, of a fetish, a relic or an accidental survivor. It is dangerous. What is inside might produce good magic or it might produce bad magic but like the box that contained Schrödinger’s Cat it must never to be opened.
    In 2018 the box was taken on an 800 mile reverse pilgrimage from London back to the Isle of Harris, in the company of the filmmaker Andrew Kötting, the photographer Anonymous Bosch and the writer Iain Sinclair. There was unwellness on the island and they hoped that the box might help, however little did they know the delirium that they would unleash.
    And all the while Eden Kötting narrates the story, working as both muse and soothsayer. She tries to make sense of the journey as it unfolds, sometimes awake and sometimes in deep sleep. Ultimately the whalebone box is finally buried in the sand on the very beach from which it came all those ever-so-many years ago BUT something happens at the very end of the film after the credits have finished rolling, something extraordinary and miraculous…



    Eden Kötting
    Iain Sinclair
    Philip Hoare
    Kyunwai So
    Ceylan Ünal
    Helen Paris
    Steve Dilworth
    Andrew Kötting
    Anonymous Bosch - Nick Gordon Smith
    Andrew Kötting
    Andrew Kötting

    Andrew Kötting

    United Kingdom

    Born in Kent in 1958, video artist Andrew Kötting trained at College of Art and Design in Ravensbourne and at Slade School of Fine Arts in London. In the early 1980s, while working on several performances filmed in super 16, Andrew directed several experimental short films, which were awarded at numerous film festivals. Throughout the years, he never stopped his performance work. In 2002, he finishes the Mapping Perception project. Inspired by his daughter Eden, the piece freely mixes cinema, art, and hard science. Several exhibitions and retrospectives have exposed Andrew’s works and performances, among them the International Film Festival of La Rochelle and the Curzon Soho in London in 2004. His film THE WHALEBONE BOX (2019) premiered at FID Marseille.

    Selected Filmography