Janet Biggs’ video, Anana Dream examines the role of free will in the lives of polar bears in captivity.Anana Dream is the dream of things that can never be and the loss of things unknown. Now on the endangered list due to their shrinking sea ice habitat, polar bears face the prospect of survival in captivity or extinction.
Biggs’ video takes its name from the Inuit word for pretty, which is also the name of one of the bears she filmed. Anana and her brother Lee swim in perfect synchronisation. On initial viewing, their movement, grace, and power is awe inspiring.
The music, a love song from the 1982 film Blade Runner, presents a romantic relationship between the two bears, and by extension examines an overly romanticised relationship between humans and animals of prey.
Upon continued looking, the polar bears synchronised swimming reveals itself as the mind-numbing, repetitive behavior of animals in captivity.