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Exhibition, Films, Talks & Events

Paravel & Castaing-Taylor

Cosmic Realism

20 January — 20 May 2024

Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sheep Rushes, 2009
Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Sheep Rushes, 2009

Paravel and Castaing-Taylor are continuously looking to create a fresh new film language that goes beyond traditional human-centred perspectives in anthropology, showcasing the world from non-human viewpoints, sometimes offering intense and thought-provoking experiences. These works correspond to grand, all-encompassing themes such as the earthly, the sea, the mind, sleep and the apocalypse.

Eye Filmmuseum presents Cosmic Realism, the first retrospective featuring the works of Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Trained as anthropologists, they merge anthropology, documentaries, and visual arts in their craft. The exhibition takes the viewer past seven immersive installations in which the development of the makers can be followed.

Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ah humanity!, 2015

Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ah humanity!, 2015

Watch the exhibition trailer:

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Explicit content:

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Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, somniloquies, 2017
Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, somniloquies, 2017

By emphasising the physical and sensory, and involving the non-human perspective, Paravel and Castaing-Taylor develop a new film language with a cosmic view that no longer focuses on humans, but on the nature of the relationships between all living beings. For Paravel and Castaing-Taylor, filming is doing research: they film while they research and vice versa. The camera serves as a research instrument and the makers do not shy away from getting close to (or under) the skin of their subjects.

Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Video installation based on De Humani Corporis Fabrica, 2022

Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Video installation based on De Humani Corporis Fabrica, 2022

For the film De Humani Corporis Fabrica (2022) - constructed around an eight-screen installation especially for this exhibition - they conducted extensive research in five Parisian hospitals involving patients, doctors and nurses, but also penetrating the human body. Just like the surgeons in the film, the filmmakers open up a world that until then remained (cinematographically) unknown and explore it from within.

In their best-known film Leviathan (2012), a dizzying study of the relationship between man and sea, they filmed for months on a fishing vessel, attaching dozens of small GoPro cameras to the boat, the crew and the fishing nets. With this footage they created an organic whole in which fishing is not only seen through the eyes of the crew, but rather from the perspective of the fish, the seagulls or the sea itself.

Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Leviathan, 2012
Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Leviathan, 2012

About Paravel & Castaing-Taylor

Véréna Paravel (1971, Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and Lucien Castaing-Taylor (1968, Liverpool, England) are both anthropologists, artists and filmmakers. Castaing-Taylor is the founder and director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab (SEL) at Harvard University in the United States, an experimental laboratory for research into the relationship between anthropology and cinema, where they work together. Their work is held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and has been presented at Tate, Whitney Biennial, MoMA and documenta 14. Their award-winning films and videos have been screened in Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto, Venice and other film festivals.

poster Paravel & Castaing-Taylor – Cosmic Realism

poster Paravel & Castaing-Taylor – Cosmic Realism

Films, talks & events

Against a dark, stormy sky, seagulls swarm around the camera, offering us glimpses of the inside of their wingspan; a still from the film Leviathan by Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor
Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Leviathan, 2012

Free guided tour

Every Sunday at 14:00 and 15:00, a guide takes you on a tour (in Dutch) through the exhibition upon presentation of a valid exhibition ticket.

A Dutch Sign Language interpreter will give a guided tour (minimum level B2) on Sunday 18 February, 17 March, 21 April and 12 May at 15:15. Sign up for free via rondleiding@eyefilm.nl.

There's a special tour for students of secondary school and higher education.

Looking for previous exhibitions?

Browse the archive via the link.

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