For the past 13 years, artist and filmmaker Eames Demetrios (the grandson of Charles and Ray Eames) has been traveling around the world—but instead of documenting the physical sites he encounters, his work has focused on building a parallel universe and finding imaginative ways of embedding it into our "linear" reality.
An exercise in multi-dimensional storytelling, Kcymaerxthaere (pronounced kay-mer-eks-theer) is an epic narrative project animated by a complex cast of characters—like grwosts and gnaciens—whose compound names subtly allude to more familiar fairy-tale creatures. Demetrios memorializes the events that take place in his alternate universe through bronze plaques installed at sites throughout the world. This action gives them the same kind of weight as the "real" events we habitually commemorate and allows an interesting network to emerge—one where fact and fiction are completely intertwined. "One of the ways you can think of the project is that it's a bit like a novel, with every page in a different place," he explains.
Currently, there are 119 bronze markers worldwide, installed in varied areas, from remote coastlines to urban cities. One of the most moving aspects of the project is its ability to create communities. As each plaque is built and installed, locals partake in every step of the process—weaving their own culture into an already multi-layered work. So, despite the somewhat alienating, hard-to-pronounce names and fantastical propositions, at its core Kcymaerxthaere taps into our innate need for storytelling. One woman who is involved with Demetrios's project put it aptly when she said, "[they're] words I don't understand, but he speaks them fluently."
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To make the project more accessible to those who cannot travel to each monument and put the story lines together themselves, Demetrios is currently seeking funding for a Kcymaerxthaere book which will encompass everything he's built so far. Speaking about this latest evolution of the project, Demetrios notes that "It is not about another installation, it is about increasing connection all around the world. Connection based not only on our ongoing modes of business, faith and politics, but on the power of the story to help us all both appreciate the richness of our world, and also to look at it fresh—seeing new possibilities."