Rabbit Hole • Metronom • Modena, Italy • 2023
Ekpyrosís is a video artwork in which a virtual world, created through game engines (digital tools to generate video games), presents mythological motifs and historical hints in order to establish a new cyclical version of the concept of history. Léa Porré builds a personal interpretation of the Palace of Versailles and the era of the Sun King by mixing palace ruins with catastrophic natural landscapes: passing through amidst rubble and mythological evocations, the gaze rediscovers a new definition of space and time.
Ekpyrosís (2021) by Léa Porré is the fourth video screening inside Rabbit Hole, the fourth edition of DIGITAL VIDEO WALL, an annual project structured in thematic chapters, which promotes the dissemination and experimentation of digital art.
Rabbit Hole is the theme chosen by Gemma Fantacci to present a series of works whose focus can be identified in the metaphor introduce by Lewis Caroll of the White Rabbit. Rabbit Hole delves into the deep web to trace trajectories and movements of a visual milieu that ranges from the destructive cycle fomented by the obession for continuous aesthetic self-perfection to the representation of internet phenomena capable of altering our perception of reality.
With DIGITAL VIDEO WALL Metronom offers a place dedicated to the exhibition and presentation of digital art languages. The peculiar position of the video wall, which allows 24-hour use from the street front, transforms the DVW into an urban intervention, a way to redesign and change the image of the street.
Ekpyrosís | Léa Porré
METRONOM | via Carteria 10 | 41121 Modena
7th March - 11th April 2023 | h24
firstname.lastname@example.org | 059239501 | www.metronom.it
Interview with Generazione Critica [excerpt]
GC: Ekpyrosís offers a critical reinterpretation of the French monarchy through a cyclical vision of History, “where its impossible and transhistorical encounters make human and deep time collapse”, as you state in your description of the work. The title comes from the Greek and means ecpirosis, which in Greek philosophy indicates a cyclical destruction of the universe due to a great fire, a cosmic fire, from which everything should subsequently be reborn. The term, therefore, points to a process of renewal following an act of destruction. How was the work created? What sparked your interest in revisiting narratives related to the Versailles palace and the Sun King?
LP: I’ve talked a little about my interest for the cyclicality of time, and that work was really at the climax of that research. I was very interested in attempting to draw a parallel between the different cyclical patterns that we find in very diverse forms: the video is set in the time of one day (from Sunrise, Sunset, New Dawn…), looking at the life of a historical figure (the Sun King, Louis XIVth of France), mapped onto the mythological archetype of the dying-and-rising deity, (well-known through the Egyptian God Osiris, a God that is reborn each day, and dies each night) and the life and death of a volcano (thinking about the cyclicality of the geologic scales, spanning across millions of years). That’s an impossible collapse of timescales, yet they all co-exist at once.
The starting point of that work was researching into the 1783 eruption of the Icelandic volcano Laki, that is a direct cause of the French Revolution (causing many years of catastrophically bad harvest and famine). I was fascinated by how one climatic event could butterfly-effect into this drastic political shift. I became interested in locating a fictional volcano under the Palace of Versailles, heart of French power of the time. As I often like to play with anachronism, I was more interested in bringing Louis XIVth into the narrative, for his association to the Sun, and his draconian daily schedule that mimics the sun pattern, from Sunrise, and his regal ‘lever’ ceremony (getting ready for the day through rigid protocol of power). At that time, I was also thinking of the archetype of the sacrificial king, how a King is linked to society at large and especially the well-being of the agricultural crops, how his divine life is interconnected with that cyclical pattern of nature.
The year that preceded the completion of Ekpyrosis, I became ever-more fascinated by Volcanoes, and geology at large, as an unparalleled cyclical form. Especially how geological strata embed events as layers. That’s the ultimate un-subjective artefact, a supreme remnant of time. And of course, how volcanic eruption site become the most fertile soil after a while, where life stems from destruction — as we find in the Greek idea of the Ecpirosis. Finally, an ongoing research in world-wide mythology led me to a strong interest in cosmogonies: mythological tales that narrate the creation of the world. Again, we have this emphasis on cyclical time, and what specifically absorbed me here, is that cosmogony and apocalypse myths are often one, destruction is creation, as the start/beginning has no linear point, we are in the midst of constant chaos & rebirth, where one cannot exist without the other.bAll these wide interests caved in altogether in this video work, and I built the different 3d Worlds as an Axis Mundi, one realm of on top of the next, in the Gardens of the Palace of Versailles!
To read the full interview: visit Generazione Critica
• Ekpyrosis (2021)