Currently open at the Akikazie art hub, curated by , is a new large-scale installation by Betty Betty Tureaud which, for lovers of mazes in liable to be a measure of fun.
The Incal and the 4 Mazes takes as its inspiration the French graphic novel series The Incal (L’Incal), written by Alejandro Jodorowsky and originally illustrated by Jean Giraud (aka Mœbius), who published the initial stories in the series in the sci-fi / horror Métal hurlant (“Howling Metal”) science fiction / horror comics series he co-founded, with the full story later published as a single volume by Marvel/Epic. Set within a fictional universe, the story follows the adventures of one John Difool (in fact, the first story in the series was published in Métal hurlant as “an Adventure of John Difool, and artefacts referred as the Incal – The Light Incal and the Dark Incal.
The graphics novels include multiple themes, include technology, religion, space, good and evil, and more. Within her installation, Betty pays homage to some of the themes and ideas through the four titular mazes of the the installation. These are placed individually placed in four blockhouses, and can only be accessed via a teleport. Each maze has a theme (or element) – Space, Earth, Techno, Mind – with those visiting referred to at the 5th element (a passing reference, perhaps to Luc Besson’s cult sci-fi classic of that title?).
Accessing the mazes is a case of clicking on one of four teleport options arrayed at the landing point, an Incal (Space), an eyeball (Mind), a pink flying creature and a cube that is mindful of those of the Borg (Techno).
Clicking on any of the them will carry you into one of the mazes. These are all designed around s similar layout, and the object in to find your way to the centre and both a gift and a teleport back out. None is particularly hard to complete and again – having not read the Difool series, I’m not entirely aware as to how each ties back to L’Incal.
However, there is a rich degree of symbolism within some of the mazes. Within the “techno” cube for example, the Borg-like is continued, but more particularly, some of the hallways of the maze are marked by curtains of binary notation (and clouds of binary lines tumble here and there as well). These may at first appear meaningless, but actually represent “2022” – the year we have just entered. Meanwhile, within the “Mind” maze, there appear eyes and hands that bring to mind the Lab’s own eye-in-hand logo.
As well as the mazes, visitors can walk between the blockhouses to a teleport point at their centre. This provides access to the Incal floating over the installation as it flashes light through the four blockhouses.
Those teleporting up to it will find sit points allowing them to take flight around the Incal – although be careful when you stand: it can be a bit of the drop to the blockhouse below. There are several other points of interest around the installation – a crystal that rotates on being touched, another that generates a pyramid of glowing light, a cube that will provide information on Betty and a rezzer for a buzz fly creature you can sit on and take to the air.Curious, symbolic, carrying with it an element of fun and the homage to Jodorowsky and Giraud Incal and the 4 Mazes offers an interesting visit with rewards from Betty.
- Incal and the 4 Mazes (Akikaze, rated Moderate)