“The castle’s new clothes”

Castel del Monte gets dressed up in lights

by Valentina Ieva
8 Love 2749 Visits

Magic Carpets is an installation by Miguel Chevalier, that unfolds at nightfall on the floor of the octagonal inner courtyard at the Castel del Monte, the thirteenth-century architectural masterpiece commissioned by Frederick II, head of the House of Hohenstaufen. 

With its unique architecture based on the number 8, Castel del Monte is an edifice imbued with a mathematical and astronomical rigor that adopts the shape of the octagon. To each of the octagon’s eight angles corresponds a tower that itself is octagonal. The positioning of the Castel del Monte has been carefully designed to create special symmetries of light on solstice days. 

This symbolic system has drawn the passionate interest of experts on account of its oddity and esotericism. Moreover, Castel del Monte is lacking in the features characteristic of the military monuments of its time, such as ramparts, moats, and stables.  It is a one-of-a-kind building that has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Pictures made up of unstable black-and-white mega-mosaics/pixels successively slide into vividly saturated color spirals that swirl about, performing veritable choreographic movements set to music by Jacopo Baboni Schilingi.

A pixelated or organic world, just like the symbolism of the octagonal form present here, the transition from the (square) earth to the (circular) sky is represented through Magic Carpets. This artificial universe seems to rejoin that of life. Everything comes together, comes apart, and alters shape at top speed.

Watch the video by Claude Mossessian:

Miguel CHEVALIER Magic Carpets 2014, Castel Del Monte, Italy (short version) from Claude Mossessian on Vimeo.


The Magic Carpets installation is created for the "festival internazionale di andria castel dei mondi 2014"

This world of moving colors and shapes takes us, as in a giant kaleidoscope, on an imaginary and poetic voyage. 

Find out more: www.miguel-chevalier.com

    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)