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Sacred, 2018


Seeing a space or object as sacred reveals a tension: human creations have the power both to make us progress further and further away from the natural world before human existence, and to bring us closer to it, by updating our pure memory of its origins.

Exploring the sacred in terms of experiences relating to space and objects means imagining that they have the power to allow us to break the constraints of a more intense time. The sacred space, be it religious or secular, is a place of personal or collective experiences that create openings in ordinary time and space.

The sacred, as a trace of a power that seems beyond humans, appears to be able to appear, spread and dissolve into places and things. How, then, are we to understand this dissolution process through which human creations are imbued with the sacred? Do these separations occur in spaces and objects, or in ourselves? Do the needs for these separations come from some higher reason, or from man-made logic?

Le Chaudron #2 is a festive and active opportunity to explore these inspiring issues and enjoy insight from artists, designers, architects, musicians, philosophers, writers, exhibition curators and more.

Four key themes will be explored: sacred and technical; sacred and secular: limits and separations; time and sacred experience; light and shadow.

Sacred and technical

Technology, the reasoned convergence of techniques and science, transforms the world and appears to drive us towards the programmed obsolescence of the sacred. Yet some of the non-religious forms of the sacred are built, and at the same time, technical means themselves are sanctified. Furthermore, the sacred and the religious are invoked as answers to questions not resolved by technical thought alone.

Sacred and secular: limits and separations

The sacred produces separations in spaces and objects, between inside and outside, the accessible and the inaccessible, the free and the forbidden, and between the personal and the collective. Sacred architecture uses these separations to create a world within a boundary, be it a surrounding wall or a circle drawn in the ground. For gnostics and alchemists, humans are a world unto themselves, and the body is like a house. How can this inspire our interiors?

Time and sacred experience

Considering the sacred in terms of experience can lead us to conclude that certain spaces and certain objects could take us outside of secular time and into a more intense time.

The sacred, like any space, produces a particular time, where experiences are saturated with being. We might ask ourselves how objects, works, spaces and rituals, whether traditional or new, can produce magical reactivations, personal or collective recollections of an original time. These may be non-religious places such as museums, or new temples such as cinemas, shared celebrations, rituals and aesthetic creations, all of them cathartic.

Light and shadow

For C.-J. Jung, the mysteries arising from Gnosticism and alchemy are the collective unconsciousness of Christianity, still present within us, in the shadow of the self. When the light of the sacred vanishes, shadowy spaces form, haunting our daily lives and fuelling our imagination in reverse. Gothic literature and fantasy films explore these spaces inhabited by the dissolution of the sacred; phantoms reappear, to be braved by creative thought.

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