The ethical and emotional axes of Yawar Fiesta propose the hypothesis that a duality between power and liberation is intrinsic to the character of the human being, and that only rites and art can bring a sense of reunification. For the artistic development of the VR set design, we have chosen to focus on the abstraction and dematerialization of the image so as to shift attention to sound. Indeed, our work and research on virtual reality have led us to question the primacy attributed to visuality in the use of VR technology.
Several sources have been foundational to our approach. These include Placeholder (1992) by Brenda Laurel and Rachel Strickland—who have worked extensively on language, sound and Canadian folk culture including its magic mythology—in which they explore the interactions of several users and their sensory associations to create new narrative paradigms that inform the virtual space; Osmose (1994-1995) by Char Davies, whose research is based on the exploration of non-Cartesian environments and an invitation to kinaesthetic contemplation, demonstrating the importance of the experience of the self in a virtual world; The Dynamic Range (2018) by James N. Kienitz Wilkins, who refers to the relationship between the brightest light and the darkest shadows of an image, and in whose VR rendering the panoramic sound against a black dome emphasises isolation, sharpening the senses and attention of the viewer; and the work of Marcos Novak, who studied non-euclidean architecture and the creation of spaces that emerge from music.
As for visual research, since August 2017, we have explored various media spanning installation, video, drawing, and painting. Focusing mainly on the primordial points of light and colour, we wanted to find the most appropriate way to represent an imaginary zone, the intuition of space, while keeping the pictorial construction principles inherent to the work of Charlotte Develter, this project’s graphic author. The artist’s body of work concerns the production of abstraction out of occasional seams, folds and weaves that bisect the pictures, physically holding canvas sections together; there are no lines, only gradients in fields of surface, colour, and tone. Outlines of forms are not defined by hard edges but emerge, mirage-like, as shadowy contours that catch illuminating light from elsewhere. In Develter’s paintings dynamic composition suggest finely-leveraged relations of causality.
In March 2019, in Develter’s latest solo exhibition Mandelfierst, at Galerie Jérôme Pauchant in Paris, the artist presented abstract paintings that are, at first, curiously opaque, mysterious. Exceeding the canvas’ overdetermined horizontal orientation, the various lines, whether those seamed bisecting the canvas or those defined negatively by contours, invariably suggested landscapes. Landscapes that were particularly barren, inward, invited the spectator to stroll among large painted gestures, describing curved surfaces and illusions, mirages of turning pages. Like an elusive, senseless landscape, the whole questioned our perception of space, figuration and our relationship to the image while cutting us off from reality and reminding us of T.J. Clark's question: ‘Whenever we encounter in a work of art some awkwardness or abbreviation that strikes us as “not realistic” or “true to life” [...] we should ask ourselves the question: What other aspect of the thing seen or event imagined does the “unrealistic” notation make vivid?’1 The exhibition also included a 3D animation video depicting a reflective journey guided by a narrator. (Visible here)
The abstract visual universe developed for the production Yawar Fiesta is inspired and derived directly from Charlotte Develter’s work: foggy, oscillating between opacity and transparency. Clouds of colour depict floating islands, untouchable virgin masses where life as we know it does not yet exist or no longer exists at all. The elusive landscapes—devoid of any details, points, lines, traces, objects—flow around us, forcing us to observe or listen to the slightest event, as well as suggestion associations between nature and human, sound and image, condor and bull.
VIEW STORYBOARD HERE