Aesop and Amsterdam-based Body Architect, Lucy McRae, have released their first short film – Morphē.

Having recognised a kindred sensibility in McRae’s provocative work, Aesop commissioned her to conceive and direct the three-and-a-half minute piece. McRae’s projects have long involved fabulous speculations about relationships between technology and the human body, and are marked by a captivating, slightly unnerving aesthetic.

Morphē playfully presages a new juncture for science and beauty. For the setting, McRae transformed an old Amsterdam church into a meticulously ordered space that references Aesop’s own laboratory. Here, a painstaking Scientist employs an assortment of gels, liquids, and weird contraptions to minister arcane beauty treatments to a sleeping Muse.

There are obvious allusions to Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty. However, McRae describes her Scientist as inspired chiefly by nineteenth-century scientist and philosopher Hermann von Helmholtz, and his revolutionary research on human perception: ‘Everything’, wrote Helmholtz, ‘is an event on the skin’. Consequently, the emphasis in Morphē, as in Aesop’s products, is on an adroit and successful marriage of science and nature.

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