Excerpt of interview with John-Paul Pryor
The nomadic New Orleans-born seeker Angelbert Metoyer is one of the most vitally imaginative artists working today. Whether he is travelling in outer Mongolia, living on American Indian reservations, taking classes in quantum physics at YALE, or studying sacred geometry with scientists at NASA, his investigations into what it means to be a sentient being always seem to contain a rare kernel of what can only be described as truth. For me, his work acts as a powerful conduit to ancestral memory and what Jung would describe as the essential a priori archetypes that define what it means to be human.
When Angelbert called from Miami a couple of weeks ago to tell us about his new show War-Beau (one of the most talked about satellite shows at Miami Art Basel) and later sent us some incredible images of his latest work, we figured it would make the perfect end of year gallery to run on Dazed Digital and took the opportunity to ask him a few questions...
Dazed Digital: How are your investigations going, do you feel as though you are getting any closer to what you are seeking?
Angelbert Metoyer: I do feel closer. Closer to my source and mind. Investigation of this world is one thing, but to investigate the earth is much more. This reflects the continual expansion of the human population, our resources and ultimately, our curiosity. My present work has taken on processes for material like coal, glass, motor oil and gold dust as a way to experience human excess in our current life on earth and to recycle from formless to form; immortal to eternal.
DD: Can you tell us a little about your investigations into the Dog Stars?
AM: My investigation into the Dog Stars gave me a curiosity into galaxies and nebulas which exist as twins or mirrors in the universe. Such as the spiral galaxies named hunting dogs (M-52). Essentially, I am looking to create the beginning of the mythology of our future existences in our outer universe.
DD: Do you think we are on the brink of an evolutionary leap?
AM: Humankind is all ways in an evolutionary leap, but can the earth stand more from humankind? What I mean is that the earth doesn't need humans to evolve further because human evolution has been connected to human domination. We might have to step backwards instead of forward; reverse evolution maybe? I think so. This is the time of the consciousness drift rather than shift.
DD: Do you believe consciousness is something inside us or do you think it could be something that is being transmitted to us?
AM: I see it like a labyrinth, where consciousness is the centre and all the surrounding walls are programed transmitted worlds and earths. This, however, is understood as perception. In our perceptions we are part of our minds, brain, body and soul. We are Transmitting Consciousness (TC) to each other; creating a web, and the internet is a reflection of that. To answer your question, yes... but we must earn it.
DD: Do you think dreams are a landscape we can all share?
AM: Yes and no. Dreams can be portals to our shared reality. In some cases, it may be a form of teleportation where in sleep we are destroyed and reformed in another world; where sometimes you can see the future and/or work out issues, ideas or some shared reality. Thus, this landscape may be our consciousness and therefore, both a before and afterlife that we all complete by living now.
DD: Why did you begin making art in the first place, and how has your process developed?
AM: I actually started to try and make sense of the many religious denominations that surrounded me growing up. Over the years, this has transformed into a formula, one that deals with the operations of time, moment and memory. I believe we receive our memories – they are not our own but are visions based in time. I’m relating those visions and trying to activate an equation about what actually stays or endures over an extended period of time... I mean, why is Jesus still famous? Why do we still know who Mohammed is? Is it because people still believe in them, or is it because of something they did?
DD: You once said you were exploring the ‘invisible language of religion’, what did you mean by that?
AM: What I’m really trying to communicate transcends religion, it even transcends spirituality. I’m trying to change my physical form into the mental physical form. I mean, there’s you the body and the you that lives inside the body, the invisible you. I believe we can use memory and moment to fold time and transmit parts of ourselves to specific places. Sure, I may believe in some pretty absurd things, like I believe I will walk on air at some point.. but y’know, it’s all about practical levitation