SOMA MAPPING II, PRIZE-WINNER OF THE VISUAL ARTS CATEGORY AT THE INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF INTERACTIVE ARTS EBN 2012, FRANCE.
The word Soma comes from the Greek, “everything projecting a shadow, - whether an animal or a human, a"plant or a star, and which isn't shadow in itself”-, the interactive installation by Zhan Jia-Hua, refers to the body: the body that has been studied, cut into pieces, magnified, and enhanced by every generation across the history of art. The young Taiwanese artist is inspired by the moving body studied by Etienne Jules Maray in his chronophotography, and the first films of his contemporary, Edward Muybridge; the futurist body, deconstructed in “Nu descendant un escalier” (Nude descending a stairway) by Duchamp, or her own: a joystick body, dematerialized, transposed and stylized.Whatever one's movements may be, Soma Mapping makes one appear as an elegant calligraphy, sketch or animated engraving, on a piece of paper. One can see the metaphor of these “near death” experiences, as one attends the dematerialization of one's body, floating in a vacuum of white light. The piece carries within it this metaphysical dimension. One gets closer and sees oneself captured by the soft mirror. Its totally immersive esthetics, whose deep frequencies, doped by the enchanting fluidity of the circular doppler effect, invite one to dive into the picture, to enter into the dance.
The second part of this interactive diptych increases the mystery with the way in which, casually, other silhouettes appear, punctuated, linked to each other with enigmatic vanishing points: visitors from another temporal dimension are also taking part in this strange and playful space...
Soma Mapping belongs to this new generation of artworks bringing digital installation out of the “pixel” era, and easily crossing over from the “white cube” and making absolute sense in the street. vg