But Keep Your Feet On The Ground

Amélie Bouvier


Interested in the anecdotes, speculation and sensationalism around the discovery of celestial objects, Amélie Bouvier references the dramatisation of astronomical discoveries. More than perhaps any area of science, astronoy is largely embraced by the masses, who are eager to turn many years of research and knowledge into distorted fantasy. Inspired by William Karel’s mockumentary “Operation Moon”, which treats the relationship between images, conspiracy theories and historical facts, this series of films plays with our conceptions of reality and our relationship with space.

Each video in this series plays with different objects in our solar system, as if they were children’s toys or small objects to be controlled and manipulated by humans. A pair of hands, which take on a Godlike quality, investigate each globe, exploring it with their tinted fingers and rolling it around their palm. While each film opens on hyper-realistic imagery, fantasy soon creeps in, led by discomfort. The films themselves are shot in one take, and are not edited. In this way they are similar to performance documentation, in which each video mixes fiction and reality to bring about humor, awkwardness, and a reflection on our own relationship with the cosmos.

© Amélie Bouvier et Harlan Levey Projects

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Amélie Bouvier (BE)

The artistic practice of Amelie Bouvier builds from historical research in the field of astronomy to question issues related to cultural memory and collective heritage. Astronomers in particular, and scientists in general, don’t only explain the world, they also represent it through the construction of diagrams, illustrations, photographs or equations. For Bouvier, scientific imagery is an extension of knowledge that reveals ideological and ethical frameworks, which risk cloaking aspects of the reality they aim to represent. She is particularly interested in the sky and stars as a landscape that expose current socio-political contradictions and knowledge gaps. While her work is based on historical facts, data and visuals, she consistently mixes this with speculative imagery, adapting tools and techniques to present alternative potentialities.

Crédits & mentions

Courtesy Amélie Bouvier and Harlan Levey Projects