Eternity is the name of the fifth experience by C3rb3rus that I’ve visited in Sansar. I’ve previously blogged three of the others – 2077 and Darkwood Forest in-depth and The Diner as a part of my coverage of the Sansar’s Scariest competition – I have yet to write about Floating Temple, as I’m waiting to see if it develops further!).
Eternity is on a much smaller scale than the previous designs by C3rb3rus – but it is intricately and beautifully detailed and animated, making a visit a must. It’s a single scene environment, presenting an enormous structure in two parts, standing atop an island of floating rock, serenely suspended in the air.
The first part of this structure is open to the sky above, its high walls an intricate lattice of wood (or copper?) supported by beautifully embossed metal ribs. In general design, it appears church-like: a long, narrow nave leading to a short transept / choir / apse. The aisles either side of the nave are represented by two intricately patterned ramps which gently slope up along the line of the structure to follow the outward curve of the walls. Directly in front of the landing area, almost blocking the way forward, is a great mechanical horse running at the gallop without ever-moving.
To call this a work of art would be an understatement; it is quite simply magnificent. held above a platform on which gears turn and roll by a single supporting pole, this horse is a masterpiece of construction. Burnished in bronze, its legs are fully and naturally articulated, moving with the fluid grace of a horse, head and neck moving in unison with its strides. Partially covered by engraved plates and partially open to the world, the beast has a mechanised interior which rocks and moves in response to its gallop, almost as if driving it, even though none of the gear wheels (understandably) are turning.
Beyond the horse – which can be viewed from the rough floor of the structure or the ramps on either side – visitors can make their way to the “transept” where more mechanical wonders await. The “floor” here resembles the partially exposed inner workings of a clock or pocket watch with gears meshing and turning and flywheels rocking. A raised dais continues this theme, stretching back towards a single opening. Overhead, an orrery turns embossed metal worlds in orbits around a central point. While one of these worlds is ringed like our Saturn, they do not otherwise appear to be representative of our own solar system.
It’s a stunning, magical setting – but again, the orrery and floor workings can easily be overlooked as eyes are drawn to the far wall of their structure. Solid in nature, all of its entire face is a fabulous tribute to the elegance of clockwork mechanisms, complete with a great brass-like device standing in the middle, above that open doorway mentioned above.
Surrounded by the copper / bronze gears and flywheels, this round face has the look of both a clock – albeit it one telling time in a way foreign to the human mind – and the great circular window of a church or cathedral. Indeed, the vertical face on which it is mounted – part of the second, fully enclosed structure in the scene – does through its very shape, heighten the feeling of this being a church, a place raised to the glory of Time.
Eternity is a marvellous portrayal of both our relationship with, and insignificance before, Time itself. The horse running at the gallop is the very embodiment of tempus fugit, the orrery a reminder that some things endure within the passage of time for far longer than we do, while the great engraved heart suspended by chains above it perhaps stands testament to our own fleeting mortality.
A marvellous, richly detailed and evocative installation.