San Fernando Cathedral Like You've Never Seen It

Jun 13, 2014

An image depicting the Battle of the Alamo, which will be projected and animated as part of "The Saga."
An image depicting the Battle of the Alamo, which will be projected and animated as part of "The Saga."
Credit Xavier de Richemont

What they’re doing to San Fernando Cathedral tonight will make you see it in a whole new light. Light -- that’s the key word here. Lots and lots of light.

"It’s a video painting of the cathedral," said Xavier de Richemont, who is the one projecting light, pictures, images, and textures onto San Fernando Cathedral. The film, of sorts, is called "San Antonio|The Saga," a chronological telling of the San Antonio story.

"I’m a storyteller telling stories from history," said Richemont. "The Indians, the Comanches and the Spanish coming and the missions being constructed."

The 24-minute film will be projected onto San Fernando Cathedral at 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Richemont has worked all over the world doing video painting on various historic buildings. Now he’s brought it to San Antonio.

"It’s an amazing look, and amazing glance at the center of the city during the night." he said. "I’m using video as a projector for projecting art on the walls."

As he explains, the shape and contours of the cathedral itself plays a huge role in the production.

"I’m working with the architecture of the cathedral, using it and transforming it depending on what I am talking about," Richemont said.

He hopes that the film will remind South Texans what there is to be proud of in this area.

"If people don’t know about the stories, don’t know their history, they will learn something," Richemont said. "I wish this: They will learn something."