Éléonore Geissler

Le plus vieux film du monde - Installation - 2023

présentée dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 25


I have hypothesised here that the filmic device is not a human invention, that it originates with one of the oldest living marine species, whose origin dates back 400 million years.

The story I'm telling plays with reality and fiction. In 1938, a museum keeper, Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer, discovered an unidentified fish off the east coast of Africa. It was the coelacanth, a species thought to have been extinct since the Denovian era.

An ichthyology laboratory discovered that the photosensitive scales of the fish recorded images. Read like film stock, superimposing them at 12 scales per second, they have made it possible to reconstruct the world's oldest movie.

In the installation, the object of the aquarium itself becomes a kind of optical theatre, a dialogue takes shape between the film format, the aquatic environment and the ghostly, shadow presence of the fish.

Éléonore Geissler

Born in 1992 in Paris, where she lives and works, Éléonore Geissler is a multimedia video artist, a graduate of the Beaux-Arts de Paris (2017) and of the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs de Paris (cum laude, 2018).

Her work is based on a practice of drawing ; her darkly humorous images serve as a medium of research for her videos. Oscillating between installation and film format, her work evokes the idea of films in volume, mixing various techniques of photography and animation, in which no holds are barred when it comes to tricking the viewer's eye. Her wide spectrum of special effects are often made by hand.

Her first short film Alien TV, nominated for the Emile Reynaud Prize (2019), has been screened at numerous international festivals. She participated for two consecutive years in the official Nuit Blanche programme in Paris, with the short film Walking with dragons (2020). She produced the winning project for the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Présences circulaires (2021), which entered the permanent collection of the CNES at the Musée des Abattoirs.


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing — Ifremer — Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle de Paris