In the shadows of the caves: the animated figures of Marc Azéma

In the shadows of the caves: the animated figures of Marc Azéma
In the shadows of the caves: the animated figures of Marc Azéma

the essential
The Nesteploria center in the Gargas caves had invited Marc Azema to deploy his knowledge on the theme “when sapiens made their cinema”.

Marc Azéma is an archaeological researcher specializing in the study of prehistoric art, and a director of cinematographic documentaries, specializing in new image technologies. After numerous observations of cave art in several caves combined with 2D and 3D computer graphics techniques, a hitherto unobserved discovery presented itself to him!

This observer of the Paleolithic art movement proposed on Saturday April 27 a film on the deductions of the ethological approach of animation on the wall representations of caves. His observational skills made it possible to shed light on his parietal interpretation which consists in describing the movement of the head and tail combined with the different lighting angles of the torch. Indeed, but it is only a supposition that these static figures on the walls produce an animation under the eye of the specialist.

Marc Azéma declares “In the Chauvet cave, movement is essential in Paleolithic art. What strikes me when I am in front of the decorated wall is the sensation of life that emanates from it. The artists of prehistory have perfectly analyzed the movements they observed in nature and were able to reproduce them on the rock”.

Even more surprising, Marc Azema observes a small disc pierced in its center, engraved with an animal with different postures on both sides with techniques identical to those 14,000 years ago. Not knowing what this puck was for. It couldn’t be a button since both sides were engraved. With the knowledge of Florent Rivière, this object can be created identically in a scapula bone to better study it. After a meticulous, perfectly framed reproduction, one on the front, the other on the back, the rotation of the two sides overlaps. The discovery is extraordinary. It can only be a mechanism that tells the story. Marc says: “I was looking for an answer in adornment, then I thought of the movement of the thaumatrope, an object that has a different image on both sides, where the combination of the two images creates a third.” By attaching a thread to its center on each side, making rotating movements allows you to start an evolution in the movement. The movement represented on the object by these two faces is the death of an animal.

The Nesteploria center in Aventignan is always looking for surprising conferences. That of Marc Azema was one. These meetings require a huge amount of in-depth research work from the Gargas caves team upstream with attractive and cultural subjects. This conference is rebroadcast on You Tube.

Next conference, Saturday May 25, on the theme of corrosion caused by bats and humans in caves. Contact 05 62 98 81 50

-

-

PREV “What an era!” – Cristina Cordula looks back on the clash between Inès Reg and Natasha St-Pier
NEXT Jennifer Connelly can’t wait to reunite with Tom Cruise