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Installation - Sound design - Art direction - Production design

Project exhibited at :

- Espace Hippomène in Geneva - 2017

- Deviant Art Festival - DAF 2018, in Geneva - La Reliure

Les Spéléofacts de Bruniquel définissent une construction Néandertalienne faite de stalagmites dans une grotte du Tarne-et-Garonne.


Sa structure est étonnamment complexe pour la période : elle date d’il y a 175 000 ans. Selon les archéologues chargé·x·e·s de la fouille, cet espace n’était pas utile à des fins vitales et ne répondait à aucun besoins premiers. De par sa construction, puis les feux et l’animation des humains en son centre, cet espace délimitait un lieu de culte et de culture.

Ce projet est une recherche pratique et théorique sur la manière dont s’établit une communauté. En quoi un espace et des objets délimitent-ils une zone de partage? Comment un espace donné, de la lumière et du son conditionnent la communication et le partage?

The Bruniquel Speleofacts define a Neanderthal construction made of stalagmites in a cave in Tarne-et-Garonne. Its structure is surprisingly complex for the period: it dates from 175,000 years ago.

According to the archaeologists in charge of the excavation, this space was not used for vital purposes and did not meet any primary needs. By its construction, then the fires and the animation of the humans in its centre, this space delimited a place of worship and culture.

This project is a practical and theoretical investigation into how a community is established. How do space and objects delimit a shared zone? How does a given space, light and sound condition communication and sharing?

Photography : Michel Giesbrecht

3D model of the Bruniquel cave produced by Pascal Mora (Archéovision-Archéotransfert)

Photography : Michel Giesbrecht

The grotto

The circular structure built by Neandertal men in the cave with 2.5 tonnes of stalagmites is at 3OOm away from the entrance. It was not a safe place, there was no food or water in the cave, and the entrance would have been enough to shelter. Thus this place had been built in an immaterial purpose. It’s a place of meeting, where there is communication and birth of beliefs.


It’s in this kind of place where common concepts happen. When they became intelligent and shared the same concepts. They were intelligent together to build something together. Those spaces are the starting points of the community. They were organized through a common will with an aura, sounds, and a totemic space, a sanctuary.


Those artefacts are the ones on which our society is build on.

We always build stories that rules our world. As religion, law, money, all of those invisible things are real in our mind. 

« Very little is known about Neanderthal cultures, particularly early ones. Other than lithic implements and exceptional bone tools, very few artefacts have been preserved. While those that do remain include red and black pigments and burial sites, these indications of modernity are extremely sparse and few have been precisely dated, thus greatly limiting our knowledge of these predecessors of modern humans. Here we report the dating of annular constructions made of broken stalagmites found deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwest France. 


The regular geometry of the stalagmite circles, the arrangement of broken stalagmites and several traces of fire demonstrate the anthropogenic origin of these constructions. Uranium-series dating of stalagmite regrowths on the structures and on burnt bone, combined with the dating of stalagmite tips in the structures, give a reliable and replicated age of 176.5 thousand years, making these edifices among the oldest known well-dated constructions made by humans. 


Their presence at 336m from the entrance of the cave indicates that humans from this period had already mastered the underground environment, which can be considered a major step in human modernity. »

JAUBERT Jacques, VERHEYDEN Sophie, GENTY Dominique, « Early Neanderthal constructions deep in Bruniquel Cave in southwestern France », Nature, n°534, published online 25 May 2016 : []

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