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Cenote III

Exhibition Center culturel Le Cap, Plérin 02-30 October 2021

Research residency 31/05 - 05/06 2021​

type: visual & sound installation  interactive

materials: wood, gobelin tulle, video projection, stereo sound diffusion

This installation attempts to create an immersive experience within a cavity: the cenote.
Cenotes are natural wells sometimes filled with sea water when they communicate with the oceans, which can reach several tens or even hundreds of meters deep.  Their name comes from the Maya dz'onot meaning "sacred well", via the Spanish cenote: some of them were indeed considered by the Mayas as communicating with the "underworld" and they threw offerings to the gods of Xibalba. . In Brittany, the term ghoul, derived from the Latin gula, throat, mouth, has the meaning of cave. These ghouls were inhabited by local mythical figures:  fairies, we call them "fairies of the swells".

Perhaps precisely because their characteristics provoke very specific sensory stimuli, which astonish and impress, cenotes, cavities, caves, ghouls, are also the seat of many mythologies, which resonate from one generation to the next through oral transmissions.

pierres sonnantespauline hegaret
00:00 / 01:23

Document including many stories and texts collected about sea caves

around the fairies of the swells and various research notes.

I was interested in the folkloric and ethnographic collections carried out by Paul Sébillot, and other folklorists (F. Morvan, FM Luzel, J. Haize etc.)  about the myths linked to ghouls and swells (sea caves) in northern Brittany in which fairies lived. These ambivalent characters were capable of great kindness as well as of violent cruelty. From the coast of Goëlo, Cap Fréhel, Saint Malo to the tip of Grouin, the intertidal caves shelter these mythical figures that are both Aeolian and chthonian. These stories transmitted by oral tradition appear and disappear, and are transformed adopting contemporary mythical forms.

In this version of the cenote, I collected many sounds and visuals in “field recording”, whose mythical / archaeological and ethnographic content is appealing. For example the fairy ghoul, located in Dinard, through its relationship with the cinema by the Lumière brothers who carried out work there and its high attendance today, or the Mermaid ghoul, the Houle de Poulifée from Cap Fréhel, etc. . The videos are processed during filming and post-production and function as "mythemes": according to the term developed by Lévi-Strauss in 1958. They are mythical fragments, recognized as belonging to various ethnographic eras. 

Cenote V3 offers to immerse yourself in the sound and visual atmosphere to then analyze your own emotional perception, and approach the way, perhaps, myths and stories are built from sensations, bodies and voices, that resonate in these spaces. I experiment with modes of interaction with the work via the body. This time, both visual and auditory, or creating the inclusion of fragments of bodily projections in situ in the caves and acoustic resonances.

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