'Morpher, Stories of being consumed', 2018, video still, HD video, 8'00"
'It looks both ways', 2018, digital print on canvas, oil paint, acrylic paint
Born Corbie (FR), 1989
– There we are.
– Holy cat! What a weird-Iooking thing.
– Let me get a picture before you track up the whole place.
– This Geiger counter is going crazy.
– Something’s melted that surface crust.
– It’s frozen over again into transparent ice.
– The bottle shape apparently was caused by the craft first making contact...
– ...and then it sank beneath the surface.
– What could melt that much ice?
– Let’s go down and see, Barnes.
In 1951 The Thing from Another World was released – one of those classic sci-fi-horror movies that made its mark during the Cold War era. The film starts with a dreadful backing score and the shocking discovery of a spacecraft, obviously alien, stranded in the Antarctic ice. Something, or rather the thing itself, lurks there, inaccessible, locked up in the ice, revealing its definitive shape without any possibility of movement. And yet it must be said that this thing was disconcerting on many levels. In the 1982 John Carpenter adaptation of John W. Campbell’s 1938 novel Who Goes There? (simply renamed The Thing), the creature asserts its metamorphic nature, able to take the shape of any living thing. It’s some sort of living image, which, like Morpheus, derives its name from its transformational abilities, or morphogenesis.
That’s what the thing would be: a pure phenomenon of perception and representation, quite unstable and uncertain.
But the thing we’re talking about here is also a product of the US film industry, a giant machine designed to produce the most powerful attractions on earth. This little fable, both moralistic and chilling, seems to want to tell us something about reality – by sitting us in a comfortable sofa in front of a stage of illusions built by the shadows projected from the other end of a soft and sombre cavern. The truth of that ever-shifting mutable thing breaks free through the powerful technical processes of reality entertainment.