'CATHEDRAL' is the UK premiere of a single-screen film and sound work by Italian artist Salvatore Arancio, presented in NGCA's Project Space. Arancio's work will be screened as part of the AV Festival 2014, a biennial international Festival of contemporary art, film and music, based in North East England.
'CATHEDRAL' was filmed and recorded at Fingal's Cave, a geological formation found on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in the Inner Hebrides off the west coast of Scotland. The sea cave evolved from contracting and fracturing lava flow which resulted in the formation of hexagonally jointed basalt columns - similar to those found on the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Fingal's Cave was rediscovered by the eighteenth century naturalist Sir Joseph Banks in 1772 and named after the hero of a poem by 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson.
The interior of the cave reaches over twenty metres in height, and this grand sense of scale combined with the ethereal sounds which can be heard inside, produced by the echoes of the waves, gives it the atmosphere of a natural cathedral. Due to the melodious sounds, it is often called the musical cave and is associated with myths and esoteric wisdom. Drawing on both the geology and mysticism of the cave, Arancio creates an evocative juxtaposition between science and nature as he merges myth, science and the seductive beauty of the location to create an otherworldly experience.
AV Festival 2014: Extraction runs from 1-31 March 2014 across the North East, in over 30 venues and public sites, in Sunderland, Newcastle, Gateshead, and Middlesbrough, across the fields of visual art, film and moving image, media art, music, and sound. AV Festival 2014 includes works by over 100 artists including 11 new commissions, 36 film screenings, 11 exhibitions, 10 concerts plus seminars, talks and workshops.
Image: still from Salvatore Arancio, 'Cathedral', 2012. © the artist. Supported by The Elephant Trust.