Elias Merhige’s ‘The Begotten Cycle’ to Premiere at Brussels Planetarium

By Logan Martell

On March 26, 2023, the Brussels Planetarium will present the premiere of Elias Merhige’s cosmic opera installation, titled “The Begotten Cycle.”

The cycle is comprised of three of Merhige’s previous works, “Begotten,” “Din of Celestial Birds,” and “Polia and Blastema.” Released in 1989, “Begotten” was praised as an important piece of avant-garde cinema, shot in black and white on 16mm reverse film; it makes full use of the physical aspects of the medium such as grain, contrast, and degradation.

“Din of Celestial Birds” was composed as a continuation of “Begotten,” using both analog and digital techniques. With “Polia and Blastema,” Merhige drew inspiration from science fiction and opera to create a wordless creation myth.

The works are adapted for the 360-degree format of the film, which will broadcast on the planetarium’s dome screen.