Miguel Parra Urrutia
Miguel Parra Urrutia 

The Louis Eden Project

A multi-media, video installation project

 

The support

This visual device is composed of a white semi-transparent tent of great dimensions, used as a screen for the simultaneous projection of two videos of 40 minutes each. The dimensions of the tent correspond exactly to those used by the United Nations to give refuge to human beings in danger, victims of a state of emergency, natural disasters or massive displacements during conflicts.

 

The tent installation allows spectators to move around it and along its external faces.

The tent screen, on its inner face, is completely embroidered according to technical procedures – traditional or industrial – employed by different people, in various areas of the world. These embroideries represent an idealized world, a syncretistic world; both an imaginary and imagined populated, with fantastic, hypothetically futuristic architectures and impossible extravagant and unreal vegetations of mythical or lost landscapes.

 

This place is a kind of paradise, an Eden, a promised land, a post-religious Utopia, a border line where paradoxically there are no mental categories, no symbolic orders, no logic of representation.

 

The videos

The contemporary gigantism, represented via the idealized images of the world of consumption, is opposed to the video images, a sort of audio-visual diary of Louis Eden’s life.

This living being is the prototype of the futuristic traveller; an absurd, famous and anonymous being at the same time. One knows few things concerning his origins, his biography, his social environment or family. His adventures, journeys, and travelling through various physical and temporal spaces, become the principal reasons for the videos in which is expressed the desire to show the world movement from a ludicrous and extraordinary point of view.

In these times of mistrust with regard to the migratory phenomena, we would wish to pose the utopia and the reality of displacement as a paradigm for humanity’s history.

 

Traces of identity

The identity of the character is reduced to a single dressed up representation: a white overall embroidered with black ribbons. This outfit is what allows the identification to this “character”. Much more than the simple idea of masquerade or simulation, Louis Eden is animated in a personal and particular way by each person who was invited to take in the outfit.

In this way “collaborators” have been able to assume and adapt this multiple identity, giving life to this second skin, revisiting it with their own kinetic, thanks to their own physical characteristics and their singular ways of moving in space, transforming themselves into alter egos of themselves.

However the character’s social identity is prone to certain constants such as the idea of an enlightened and heroic being, a sort of local superhero, a proletarian divinity, but the whole however … “in spite of himself”…

Louis Eden has powers which can be of supernatural origin, being for example, able to fly, to move through time and space, to evolve in remote zones, to pass from one continent to another without making any particular effort, etc…

His travels obey always to a precise motive: a task to be achieved, an exploit to be lived through, a mission to be accomplished, a message to be promulgated, a testimony to be given, an utopia to be defended, an innocent to be saved, a right to be obliged, an injustice to be denounced… In each one of Louis Eden’s appearances, whether in public spaces or in private ones, we wish to reaffirm a fact that escapes from reality. Louis Eden, with his outfit of a traveller, a planetary homeless, an astronaut, a clown, an educated working-class man, sees himself confronted to the nonsense of time and the socio-political context of the place in which he is and which, at the end, is a metaphor of the contemporary world’s situation.

 



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© Miguel Parra Urrutia