Véréna Paravel & Lucien Castaing-Taylor – Cosmic Realism

Eye Filmmuseum presents Cosmic Realism, the first retrospective of the work of Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Trained as anthropologists, they combine anthropology, documentaries and visual arts in their work. The exhibition takes you through seven immersive installations in which you can follow the makers’ development.

Seeing the world from non-human points of view

Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor are constantly looking for a new film language that goes beyond the traditional human-oriented view in anthropology. They show the world from non-human points of view, sometimes resulting in intense and disorienting experiences. These works touch on grand, all-encompassing themes such as the earthly, the sea, the mind, sleep and the Apocalypse.
Paravel and Castaing-Taylor emphasize the physical and sensory from a non-human perspective. In this way, they develop a new film language with a cosmic view that no longer focuses on humans but reveals 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.

De Humani Corporis Fabrica

For the film De Humani Corporis Fabrica (2022), for which they created an eight-screen installation, especially for this exhibition, they conducted extensive research in five Parisian hospitals. There, their camera not only roams among the patients, doctors and nurses but also penetrates the fleshy inside of the human body into the aortas, blood vessels and brains of those operated on. 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 the 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 seen through the eyes of the crew, but rather from the perspective of the fish, the seagulls or the sea itself.

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