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Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Is God Flat? / Is the Devil Curved?
Maurice Benayoun

Maurice Benayoun (F), born 1957, research projects on special effects and the contri bution of new technologies to audio-visual production and to artistic creativity within the Centre de Recherche et d'Étude sur le Cinéma et les Arts Audiovisuels (CRECA) and the Centre de Recherche sur I'Image (CRI). 1993 prize-winner of the Villa Medicis Hors Les Murs.

"Is God flat?" And the machine (usually dedicated to flight simulators...) answers in real time, extracting from brick walls representations of God derived from Art History. They are floating in the air towards us. The explorer of this virtual world must, however, continue his quest for pious images on his own: from a room entirely bricked up, he can dig through the surrounding walls of as many corridors as he wishes, which will move all along his progression. In this way, he digs a labyrinth little by little, and masters its architecture, but there seems to be no way out. A fruitful quest, during which one can discover man's multiple representation of his Creator. But also a realistic quest, because while offering themselves, these images reveal their lack of thickness.

In "Is the Devil curved?", as paradoxical as it may seem, we dig labyrinthic corridors through the sky. The clouds are cut in real time as the spectator moves. This air architecture has a purpose. We discover supple organic shapes slowly moving in portions of space. As we come closer, those plump shapes change their behaviour. They are not insensitive to our "contact". The unveiled "diabolo" of offered flesh shivers as we approach, and we understand that we are in front of an evil seduction game. Little by little, one discovers that almost sensual shapes (angels or devils?), rich in successive experiences, tend to a curved ideal of seduction. As a matter of fact, the shape of the “diabolo” adapts itself step by step to the spectator’s desire. Don’t we have here a TV channel fantasy: creating shapes able to learn by themselves how to seduce the audience?

Technical Background

HW: Silicon Graphics
SW: In-House