2012 the French mountain village of Bugarach became a focus for
millennial speculation triggered by the end of the Mayan calendar
on December 21st 2012. The mountain had already featured in alternative
narratives linked with the Cathar Heresies and lost Templar treasure.
It also played a role in speculations to do with Jules Verne,
hollow earth theories and was rumoured to have attracted the attention
of both the Nazis and Mossad.
In 2010 or 2011 Internet speculation started that the mountain
was a garage for alien spacecraft and that it would be somehow
saved from the turmoil of the impending end of the world. The
Mayor of the village gained worldwide press and media coverage
in November 2011 when he asked for help from the French Government
to protect the village from the large number of incomers it was
anticipated would descend on the village to seek safety. As the
date drew nearer these rumours amplified and media from around
the world started arriving. In December 2012 it was announced
that the French police and armed forces would be drafted in to
protect the mountain and the village from the rumoured 200,000
people who were to congregate. For three days around the end of
the world the surrounding area was road-blocked by police.
Magic Mountain is a two screen installation, featuring video
shot in Bugarach over the year preceding December 2012 and footage
shot in the village at the end of the world on the 21st of December,
and material from US fundamentalist Christian websites that focussed
on these events.
Installation in the exhibition, The Horizontal Within, The Horizontal Without, Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes, London, England 2017