RICHARD GRAYSON

The Magic Mountain

Two screen high-definition video installation - 2013-17



In 2012 the French mountain village of Bugarach became a focus for millennial speculation triggered by the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21st 2012. The mountain had already featured in alternative narratives linked with the Cathar Heresies and lost Templar treasure. It also played a role in speculations to do with Jules Verne, hollow earth theories and was rumoured to have attracted the attention of both the Nazis and Mossad.

In 2010 or 2011 Internet speculation started that the mountain was a garage for alien spacecraft and that it would be somehow saved from the turmoil of the impending end of the world. The Mayor of the village gained worldwide press and media coverage in November 2011 when he asked for help from the French Government to protect the village from the large number of incomers it was anticipated would descend on the village to seek safety. As the date drew nearer these rumours amplified and media from around the world started arriving. In December 2012 it was announced that the French police and armed forces would be drafted in to protect the mountain and the village from the rumoured 200,000 people who were to congregate. For three days around the end of the world the surrounding area was road-blocked by police.

The Magic Mountain is a two screen installation, featuring video shot in Bugarach over the year preceding December 2012 and footage shot in the village at the end of the world on the 21st of December, and material from US fundamentalist Christian websites that focussed on these events.

 

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