Cosmic Realism - Paravel & Castaing-Taylor | Eye Filmmuseum

Cosmic Realism - Paravel & Castaing-Taylor | Eye Filmmuseum

Eye Filmmuseum presents Cosmic Realism, the first retrospective featuring the works of Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Trained as anthropologists, they merge anthropology, documentaries, and visual arts in their craft. The exhibition takes the viewer past seven immersive installations in which the development of the makers can be followed.

Paravel and Castaing-Taylor are continuously looking to create a fresh new film language that goes beyond traditional human-centred perspectives in anthropology, showcasing the world from non-human viewpoints, sometimes offering intense and thought-provoking experiences. These works correspond to grand, all-encompassing themes such as the earthly, the sea, the mind, sleep and the apocalypse.

Watch the exhibition trailer: 

By emphasising the physical and sensory, and involving the non-human perspective, Paravel and Castaing-Taylor develop a new film language with a cosmic view that no longer focuses on humans, but on the nature of the relationships between all living beings. For Paravel and Castaing-Taylor, filming is doing research: they film while they research and vice versa. The camera serves as a research instrument and the makers do not shy away from getting close to (or under) the skin of their subjects.

Exhibition opening

The programme kicks off on 19 January at 20:30 setting the scene for an evening of video projections and music.


For the film De Humani Corporis Fabrica (2022) - constructed around an eight-screen installation especially for this exhibition - they conducted extensive research in five Parisian hospitals involving patients, doctors and nurses, but also penetrating the human body. Just like the surgeons in the film, the filmmakers open up a world that until then remained (cinematographically) unknown and explore it from within.

In their best-known film Leviathan (2012), a dizzying study of the relationship between man and sea, they filmed for months on a fishing vessel, attaching dozens of small GoPro cameras to the boat, the crew and the fishing nets. With this footage they created an organic whole in which fishing is not only seen through the eyes of the crew, but rather from the perspective of the fish, the seagulls or the sea itself.

About Paravel & Castaing-Taylor

Véréna Paravel (1971, Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (1968, Liverpool, England) are both anthropologists, artists and filmmakers. Castaing-Taylor is the founder and director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) at Harvard University in the United States, an experimental laboratory for research into the relationship between anthropology and cinema, where they work together. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has been presented at Tate, Whitney Biennial, MoMA and documenta 14. Their award-winning films and videos have been screened in Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto, Venice and other film festivals.

20 januari 2024 / 20 mei 2024
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