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Do you remember that sci-fi movie “The Zero Theorem” by Terry Gilliam where the main character is suffering existential angst himself and trying to prove that life is meaningless, because the universe ends as nothing? He’s an extremely talented, eccentric and socially isolated programmer who lives in the building of a former church. And this eclectic mix of ancient stained-glass windows, mystical sculptures and futuristic gadgets became a strong metaphor of a great paradigm shift. The new Miguel Chevalier’s project reminds that same feeling of perfect oxymoron.
His projection mapping show, accompanied by organ improvisation, took place at Saint-Eustache Church in Paris on the 1st of October. This work was produced especially for Nuit Blanche 2016. Visitors could lie down right beneath the digital sky. Chevalier’s fascinating light silhouettes in conjunction with mind-blowing organ music had all chances to immerse the audience in a trance. And there’s nothing to wonder about. Art, as a form of meditation, uses methods which are similar to religious rites.
Miguel Chevalier probably understands key elements of any spiritual practice. He was born in Mexico, where people are still under the influence of haunting gods and mythical tales. Chevalier moved to Paris in 1985, got interested in video mapping and virtual reality, but keeps looking for mysticism through art.
In general, using church as a field for experiments is quite in the tradition of metamodernism. Contemporary artists are tired of postmodern irony and heartless kitsch. New Sincerity era displaced jokes and we’re ready to find the balance between game and truth.