Barcelona is a thriving city with world-class architecture and a rich history that makes it one of Europe’s most popular destinations. When you first think of this Spanish metropolis, what comes to mind? For many of us, it is the image of Antoni Gaudi’s unique style and gravity-defying Sagrada Familia. But what would Barcelona look like without this cathedral or some of its other buildings the city is known for? In Menilmonde’s new video titled “Barcelona Archi’llusion”, the buildings flicker between total erasure, a pseudo-sketch, and views of their actual forms, allowing you explore to what the city would be like without some it’s most famous icons.
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James Hansen, professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University, former NASA scientist, and the planet’s preeminent climatologist, was among the first to sound the alarm on climate change during his 1988 testimony before Congress. Since then, he has continued to shine a light on the problem through lectures, interviews, TED talks, and his blog. He has warned that a mere 2-degree increase in temperature could result in a sea level rise of five to nine meters by the end of the century, flooding coastal cities and rendering them uninhabitable.
Inspired by Hansen, filmmakers Menilmonde have imagined Manhattan underwater. The French duo's previous videos experiment with subtle subversions of the world we experience, and their latest creation, 2°C New York City, is arguably their most powerful to date.
Museums, restaurants, shops, theaters. These are the types of spaces the public interact with on a regular basis in a city. But these spaces alone do not make a city - in fact, the vast majority of buildings house spaces that 99 percent of the population will never see. Yet a true city experience cannot exist without these buildings. What is the true value of private buildings to the tourist or the passer-by on the street? Is it simply a matter of aesthetic and identity? Could the same result be achieved with a streetwall made up of only facades? These are the implicit questions embedded in “Apparences,” the new video from Claire and Max of Menilmonde. The duo uses video editing and CGI to alter iconic Paris views, making the city of romance appear to be little more than the world’s largest movie set.
A city with the history and imagery of Paris cannot be mistaken for a Potemkin Village - the city functions still as one of the preeminent economic centers in the world. Yet its status as one of the world’s most visited cities and tales of its beauty and luxury often plant false visions of grandeur in visitors’ minds.
Have you ever treated a famous city like your very own sketchbook? Claire and Max of Menilmonde did just that. The duo re-envisioned the buildings and monuments of Paris by capturing the lower stories through video and sketching imaginary additions in a project that viscerally challenges pre-conceived attitudes towards iconic structures. Take a walk through the City of Love and experience it anew as a work of art.