L’arc d’apparition

John Oswald

Publication / 2004

In 2003 Avatar hosted John Oswald for a residency on his L’arc d’apparition project. Oswald used this time to organize photo sessions with a number of people he had recruited among those he met.

Each subject in the data bank was photographed first nude, then clothed, and from these photographs Oswald developed a series of images, which are presented on a single frame by a accretion.

L’arc d’apparition is a DVD with three tracks of different lengths in continuous loops. The result is analogous to a video picture of a television monitor or computer screen. Oswald wanted to reproduce the sense of a crowd watching the picture. Several individuals are seen. Each photograph has a certain degree of transparency. These digital images appear slowly, fading in against a white background.

The L’arc d’apparition DVD and installation were launched on February 5, 2004, as part of the Mois Multi festival.


Multifaceted artist John Oswald nearly always incorporates an electroacoustic element to his productions. His works are part of the regular repertoire of Kronos Quartet, Culberg Ballet of Sweden, Ballet of Monaco, Deutsche Opera Ballet Berlin, Modern Quartet and Penderecki String Quartet. Among his recent activities are a sound procession for Brazilia; a choregraphic work for twenty two choregraphers (among which Bill T Jones, Margie Gillis and Holly Small); commissions from groups such as Ballet de l’Opéra of Lyon, Change of Heart, SMCQ as well as Dutch National Radio and the CBC.

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