Guillaume Marmin creates installations and immersive performances featuring light, sound and space. Freed from conventional narrative forms and traditional media, his work takes a fresh approach to visual design. Over the last decade, his creations have been presented in countries across the world, in collaboration with musicians from a variety of genres.

Guillaume Marmin created a new work for the Constellations Festival in Metz, 1,3 SECONDE, a fully immersive sound and light show at the heart of the Basilique Saint Vincent in Metz.

Who is Guillaume Marmin?

Hello, I am a visual artist based in Nantes. My creations use an interplay of light, sound and space. They include installations, live performances with musicians and permanent works for the public space.

Did you always want to be an artist?

No, I only thought of becoming an artist at a late stage. I have a diagonal career path. I started out in journalism, then did audiovisual work, followed by video creations for shows, music and image performances, and now installations. I don't know exactly where it’s going to lead, but I've always liked experimenting and initiating new projects.

What kind of imagination do you have?

When you are interested in light, you have to approach it from a scientific, artistic, philosophical and even a mystical angle because the symbolism is very strong. It might be Greek mythology, astrophysics or Shintoism. I’m not an expert in anything, so I like to listen to specialists in these fields, their thoughts and the sort of craziness they sometimes have in common. They are driven by the same passion, which can also disconnect them from daily life.

What inspires you and drives you creatively?

Inventing new tools and devices, coming up with projects with musicians, builders or architects, and visiting new places and countries.

What does light mean to you? Why did you choose it as your primary medium?

When you work on light, the way you light the world changes and so does the way you see reality. When you play with optical and sound effects, the spectator feels certain sensations. In a way, you can grasp them physically and then suggest an intention. This makes the creations accessible to a very wide audience.

Could you introduce 1,3 seconde?

1,3 SECONDE is a new installation designed for the Constellations Festival in Metz, which is held throughout summer. 1.3 seconds is the time it takes light to travel between Earth and the Moon. It doesn’t last very long but long enough to be perceptible. It is the initial pulsation - the pulse of the installation for the Basilique St Vincent. The light and sound move to reveal the building’s 70 metres of aisles using a tailor-made system consisting of 300 projectors and a dozen loudspeakers.

What is it about?

It’s a project that brings together light, sound and the building’s very special architecture so people feel the relationship that’s possible between time and space. It’s an attempt to illustrate relativity in a way. It is also a reference to the anniversary of the first moon landings. It’s like an abstract journey to the moon.

What was your creative process?

We visited the space first to get a feel for the basilica, which is very impressive, and to try to understand the acoustics. We then imagined what the best tools would be to move light inside the space and built custom projectors and electronic boards to control them. It was a small project that required a lot of different skills.

What role does the setting - the Basilique Saint Vincent - play in this project?

The city suggested it, so it was the starting point for the project.

Would you like to walk on the moon?

Yes, but in company if possible. It looks like a desert and it would be frustrating if there was no one to share the experience with, even with a helmet on your head.

Do you have a new work in the pipeline? A crazy project?

There are a lot of projects I dream of doing. One of them would be an installation in a container, which could move around autonomously. I hope we'll talk about it again very soon.


Sign up to our newsletter