Stellar Caves: Illuminated Underground String Installation

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Eighty-two feet under the surface of the earth, hidden within the cellars of the Maison Ackerman winery in Saumur, France, an eerie blue-violet wonderland blooms in carefully constructed arrangements of UV-coated string. Artist Julien Salaud wound 28 miles of cotton thread around 65,000 nails for his installation Fleuve Céleste, which explores themes of nature, mysticism and shamanism against the natural rock walls of the space.

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At first glance, the images seem as if they were created on a computer. But anyone who takes a tour of the winery can walk within tunnels of the glowing string, illuminated by a projected ultraviolet light.

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According to Salaud, the work offers “a different viewpoint of what an animal can be: that of the Cartesian or the geneticist, of the predator or the prey, of the sorcerer or the mystic.” Conceived specifically for this unusual space, the work will be on display for three years and is the first exhibition originating from the Ackerman + Fontrevaud La Scéne residency.