As one of the most important figures in both Greek and Roman mythology, Apollo is frequently seen in classical art and sculpture. However, in his recent project, Arnaud Pottier of BK Digital Art Company lifts Apollo and other famous figures from their traditional framework and transports them into the 21st century.
Sculpture, despite its visual momentum and fluidity, is a stationary art form. This is particularly true with classical sculpture. Statues and busts certainly portray the beauty and majesty of their muse, but not necessarily the zest of life or the essence of their being. This is what inspired Pottier to create the installations Golem x Apollo and Golem x MBA, both of which use digital technology to zap life into noble classical sculptures. Pottier’s project uses facial mapping technology to display projections of human facial features onto marble sculptures – a technique creating a truly stunning effect that makes the still sculptures appear animated.
“In this project we’re using an antic sculpture and video to create an uncanny feeling. Put life into an object. This work is based on the lack of life inherent of virtual imagery and classical sculptural art. Golem explores the thin line between virtual reality and real virtuality.”
The effect of the installations is utterly breath taking. The already-beautiful marble is given a haunting extra dimension when light is cast over the sculptures. The figures’ eyelids appear to flutter, and their facial structure is given a greater depth thanks to the changing light. The emotions carved into the figures are at once amplified: we see them writing in pain, or blissfully contemplating in peace.
Pottier acted as art & creative director for the projects, assisted by the astounding Julien Aubry (technical director), Arthur Sotto and Etienne Guiol (motion designers) and Patrick Garbit (sound design). Both of these installations will be on display at the Lyon Fine Arts Museum. Luckily, for those of us who can’t make the trip, the raw beauty of these installations was captured on film by Pottier and his team in two short teaser videos – readers can find the second clip at the end of this article. Enjoy: