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Panorama 21 - Les revenants | Thiago Antonio - Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Hermeticum | Le Fresnoy 2019
Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Hermeticum
Thiago Antonio (BR)
Amphitheatrum Sapientiae Hermeticum

This installation is based on research into cosmological accounts and the study of scientific phenomena of the universe and recounts our origins from both a mystical and a fictional point of view.

By mixing these elements with concepts from alchemy, ancient astronomy, science fiction and fables, I recreated a microcosm, using as my starting point a mythical character from Greco-Egyptian antiquity: Hermes Trismegistus, a legendary figure who is said to have provided the Egyptians with natural and supernatural knowledge, as well as hieroglyphics and knowledge of medicine and alchemy. He also inspired the thought of Plato, Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton.

The story is told within a sort of mechanical theatre, in which mobiles seem to be orbiting in space in a dance of movements and lights.

The use of blown glass is a reference to the alchemical process of the transmutation of matter. Thanks to lenses, we can imagine and see both the very large and the tiny. Hermes Trismegistus wrote: “What is below is like what is above.” The discovery of telescopes and microscopes reaffirmed man’s intrinsic need to understand his origins and his genesis.

By eschewing words and featuring images that show mysteries and enigmas, this work aims to reach the intellect through the senses. These rituals of symbolic images connect us with different universes, different scales and different levels of reality.

Paulo Denizot, Yann Fertil, Simon Muller

Thiago Antonio
Thiago Antonio Brésil
Promotion Michelangelo Antonioni

Thiago Antonio was born in in Rio de Janeiro in 1988. His training in cinema and his interest in poetry and literature led his work towards the visual and digital arts and the creation of visual poems and videos. In his “Videolivros” series he positions himself as a character, speaking in the first person singular by inserting texts and images from his personal archives constructed on the basis of his movements. Listening and empathy are at the heart of his work.


2010 - 2015, Cinéma et Audiovisuel à l’Universidade Federal Fluminense – Rio de Janeiro
2016-, Cinéma d'animation à École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs de Paris
2009 - 2015, Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage (EAV), Rio de Janeiro'
2008 - 2010, Cinema na Universidade Estácio de Sá, Rio de Janeiro

  • Lumière: Paulo Denizot
  • Musique: Yann Fertil
  • Souffleur de Verre: Simon Muller

Production : Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains