Invitation to meditate

Between 15th September 2021 and 2nd January 2022, MAC Lyon hosts six animation films from artist Christine Rebet, of which one was specifically created for this exhibition, Otolithe. Each animation film is displayed in a room specifically arranged to illustrate the cultural and ideological influence that led the artist to its creation and is accompanied by drawings used to make the film, thus enriching the viewer’s experience.

Christine Rebet was born in Lyon and now works and lives in Paris and New York. She created animation films using the classic technique from the beginning of animations when the illusion of movement was created by displaying one after another several drawing slightly modified in the direction the artist wanted to create the movement. Thus her entire work is based on illusion and metamorphosis, which are also the key elements of one of the animation films displayed at MAC Lyon, Breath in, breath out.

This animation film was inspired by Christine Rebet’s travel to Thailand and it follows the descent of a monk from the mountain. The script of the film is based on Emmanuel Coccia’s Metamorphosis, an essay that, based on Darwin’s theory of evolution, stated that life itself is a metamorphosis and everything is constantly changing and becoming something else. The author uses the example of the caterpillar which becomes a butterfly, an image that plays an important role in Christine Rebet’s film as well, to illustrate the connection of everything on Earth, which he associates with the caterpillar while the humans are its butterflies.

Breath in, breath out is almost 7 minutes of meditation music, which starts and ends with a text reflecting the philosophy of Emmanuel Coccia recited in a calm voice, perfect to take you in and out of the meditative state. The images start to unfold following the evolution of life from the smallest entity to humans as well as the evolution of human society from it cohabitation with the other elements of nature to us taking over our environment and threatening to potentially destroy, if not Earth itself, the environment that can sustain our life. According to the artist, the monk passes through all of this states as he comes down the mountain “becoming a complete entity” in the process. The music takes a slightly urgent tone in the second half of the film, especially when the modern technology is introduced in the metamorphosis, which leads Earth to implode, marked by a “bum” sound. The film ends with a boat stranded at sea as a reference to how we are more emotionally disconnected it a world that so easily connects us through technology.

On the first floor of the MAC Lyon, there are arranged six spaces, each particular to the film displayed. For Breath in, breath out, the space is an experience in itself. Although you can see the film online, it does not compare to seeing it on a wide screen as big as to room it is displayed in, where there are no outside distractions and where you are invited to immerse yourself in the experience by taking off your shoes when you step in and comfortably sit on the tatami that is covering the ground. It is perfect environment to help you reconnect with yourself as well as raise your awareness to the social and environmental issues.

The other five films displayed are : Brand Band News, Otolithe, Thunderbird, The Black Cabinet and In the Soldier’s Head, each displayed with the same care to provide a complete experience for the viewer, making this an exhibition not to be missed if you are in Lyon.


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