For many years, the Saint Eustache Church has shared in such great moments of the artistic life of the city of Paris as Nuit Blanche (All-Nighter), an occasion to offer some 10,000 night visitors the opportunity to discover the city’s historical heritage. For Nuit Blanche 2016, Father George Nicholson, Priest of Saint-Eustache and Françoise Paviot, curator in charge of contemporary art at the Saint Eustache Church, are proposing Miguel Chevalier’s virtual-reality installation “Voûtes Célestes.” This new is accompanied by musical improvisations played by Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard, titular organist for Saint Eustache Church’s great organ and repertoires performed by Les Chanteurs de Saint-Eustache.
“Voûtes Célestes” is a generative and interactive virtual-reality artwork projected onto the Saint Eustache Church’s chancel vaults, its central nave, its transept crossing, and its two transepts. Surprising imaginary sky charts are created in real time. The visitor discovers a variety of colored networks of light that spread out in the form of sinuous webs. These large meshes take form and then lose their shape, changing following the movements of visitors in the central nave, creating ever renewed, diversified universes. “Voûtes Célestes” highlights the site’s architecture, the volumes of the columns and ribbed vaults come to life before our eyes. Their colorful gridworks create surprising trompe l’oeil effects. These suspended universes accentuate one’s impression of the monument’s loftiness and lightness.
Visitors are invited to stroll around, to sit in the pews, and to lift up their eyes toward the heavens. These digital constellations of pixels immerse visitors in an atmosphere bathed in light while opening unto infinity. The installation releases radiant energy into this space of plenitude. Amplified by Saint Eustache’s organ music, the installation induces a spiritual and contemplative feeling of elevation. Light, color and movement create a poetics of matter and elaborate a new aesthetics of virtuality. –(Excerpt from Artist’s website)