EKPYROSÍS | LÉA PORRÉ
Ekpyrosís is the fifth video featured in RABBIT HOLE, the fourth edition of DIGITAL VIDEO WALL, an annual project divided into thematic chapters, aimed at promoting the dissemination and experimentation of digital art.
The fifth screening will feature the work of Léa Porré, Ekpyrosís (2021, VIDEO, MP4). Porré’s artistic practice is rooted in the concept of world-building, which involves the construction of virtual worlds that are more or less fictitious and close to our reality thanks to different types of digital technologies, especially game engines, i.e. graphic engines usually used to make video games. In his case, Porré builds 3D worlds through which she “delves into her ancestral memories,” interweaving micro narrative stories and mythological motifs. Her works constitute “memory palaces,” as the artist herself calls them, through which she analyzes the past and present, and tries to predict the future. Léa Porré makes extensive use of symbols and archetypes to dispel the boundaries that divide reality from fiction in search of alternative narrative outlines. Through her works, Léa Porré imagines alternative scenarios through which she envisions rewriting the historical process of events that really happened, such as the French Revolution, and makes extensive use of imagery related to “ruin porn,” very popular on platforms such as Instagram, which favours images depicting ruined buildings, decaying landscapes, resulting on one hand in a sense of sadness and melancholy for a time now past, and on the other in fascination with a past that we attempt to travel through from the fragments left behind. Lea Porré conceives of her role as an artist as that of an archaeologist who “re-enacts artifacts and rituals, lost or imagined, in which to recreate alternative realities,” as she explains during an interview for ITSLIQUID, and continues, “my artistic practice is based on an investigation of our collective conscious and unconscious, which aims to go beyond the dichotomies of Good and Evil, Sacred and Profane.” Researching artifacts and elements of our society, whether belonging to the present or the past, plays a key role in her work, and her artworks are a way to develop new realities and new alternative narrative forms. Her artistic process, as well as her production, is very reminiscent of the practice of the Poirers, who, working with a wide variety of media from installation to monumental public sculptures, have investigated the concept of memory, ruin, archaeology, artifact, memento mori, remembrance, to emphasize the importance of the past on present time and human behavior.
For the Digital Video Wall, Léa Porré presents Ekpyrosís, also related to her worldbuilding practice. The artist uses the technique of reenactment to stage historical events and rituals that may or may not have happened, using computer-generated sets. The work offers a critical reinterpretation of the French monarchy through a cyclical vision of History, “where its impossible and transhistorical encounters collapse human and deep time,” as the artist herself states. The title of the work comes from the Greek word ekpýrosis, from ek “out” + pýros, “fire,” i.e., “[exited] out of the fire“), which in Greek philosophy indicates a cyclical destruction of the universe due to a great fire, a cosmic fire, from which subsequently everything should be reborn. The term, therefore, indicates a process of renewal following an act of destruction. Ekpyrosís, as the artist points out, urges the viewer to explore the utopian potential of the catastrophic sublime by setting the narrative in a cyclical temporal dimension that recounts the events, more or less fictitious, of the Sun King, his death and subsequent resurrection, and the imminent eruption of a volcano that appears to be located beneath the Palace of Versailles. The work also consists not only of the video, but also includes a series of illustrations that stage some of the motifs and details of the work.
© Léa Porré, Ekpyrosís, 2021, video still, courtesy the artist
Léa Porré | Ekpyrosís
Digital Video Wall
Metronom | via Carteria 10 | 41121 Modena
7th March – 11th April 2023