- THE WORKS -
Title: Chimères mécaniques [MECHANICAL CHIMERAS]
Technique: SPRAY PAINTING AND MARKERS
YEAR CREATED: 2019
LOCATION: Place Jules Grossmann
SURFACE AREA: ≈ 20 m2
“Could our planet’s incredible biodiversity, which inspires me, also be the work of a cosmic clockmaker?” wonders the agnostic artist who is rather partial to metaphors. Codex Urbanus finds the following comparison amusing: “In a way, aren’t plants, animals and humans just ingenious organic and hormonal mechanisms that are trying to find their way through time and space with varying degrees of luck and style?”
While transhumanism and artificial intelligence are becoming the new Holy Grail, the interaction of biological and mechanical worlds is like reaching a terrifying crossroads on the one-way street of human adventure. Are we experiencing a contemporary scientific version of the myth of Frankenstein, the “modern Prometheus” invented in 1818 by Mary Shelley? By assembling a mechanism of flesh into which he breathes life, Victor Frankenstein – a Swiss scientist and also a “nutcase” – seals his fate with that of his creature. By playing too hard at being a clockmaker with material and the living, with nanotechnology and genetic engineering, by thinking he’s God and trying to create machines endowed with intelligence, isn’t man in the process of committing too great a sacrilege? Will his curiosity prove fatal? On the north-east side of this sheltered play area for children, the town of Le Locle is safe from outside attacks, protected as it is by the transparent abdomen of the mechanical entity that is carrying it off to its destiny. It is the colour of gold because, in the artist’s eyes, Le Locle is a treasure.
In the mural painted on the back of this same sheltered play area, a mechanical dinosaur is confronted with the sad memory of animals that have become extinct due to human activity, either directly or indirectly. Maybe it realises that its own existence is linked to this carnage.
Codex Urbanus is convinced that the imagination allows us to find answers to the philosophical and ethical questions raised by certain kinds of scientific “progress”. By allowing these strange mechanical chimeras to glide along Le Locle’s walls, the artist invites us to reflect on our excessive appetite for knowledge, our desire to conquer time and our way of understanding the mysteries of this world.
Place Jules Grossmann
- THE ARTIST -
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