It is sometimes complex to separate the personal work from the commissioned, because the two overlap and feed off each other. Besides, Mélanie Courtinat is given on a regular basis by institutions or even brands a complete "carte blanche". This selection therefore presents her most unrestricted projects, and those that resonate the most with her work as an artist.

Virtual Reality 360°, 6DoF, 10’

YEAR 2022
DISTRIBUTION Diversion Cinema

For some historical events that have occurred, we have no system of representation, no analogies, no experience.
We’re talking about catastrophes of a new type for which neither our eyes, nor our ears, nor even our vocabulary are adapted.
‘All Unsaved Progress Will Be Lost’ is a sensorial journey that questions our fears and our ability to resist the very worst through the testimony of a survivor who refused to evacuate her home. Voluntary prisoner of a space made unfit for life, she shares her vision of the event in a fantasized environment made of concrete and fog, that represents the projection of an original land where no return to the sources is possible.
It is only at the very end that we are revealed what the story is based on, and without this information, the unnamed threat is silent, inexplicably imminent, and leaves the viewer to project their own fears of a possible future catastrophe.
The Premiere took place at the Venice Biennale as part of the Immersive official selection. It has since been shown at over twenty venues - exhibitions, festivals - around the world.

Video game

YEAR 2024
CURATION Victoria Mühlig
DEVELOPMENT Mélanie Courtinat, Alpha Rats, Alex Sinh Nguyen
MUSIC Inès Chérifi at Færies Records, Yatoni

‘The Siren’ is a digital exploration that questions the traditional conventions of video games. The work probes the meaning we assign to actions within a game, the motivations behind our playful engagements, and aims to eventually introduce an art exhibition public to the medium.

This inclusive approach is designed to be accessible to everyone, including newcomers, while also providing an additional level of understanding for those already acquainted with video games. As a result, the piece features accessible gameplay and incorporates a so-called 'cinematic' dimension, thus offering a rich visual experience for those who prefer to watch.

In ‘The Siren’, players embody a heroine wearing a shimmering armor who initially wanders aimlessly along a beach at dusk. Once in control, players quickly engage in actions under the watchful eye of an omniscient narrator. This narrator prompts players to undertake a seemingly arbitrary task—or side quest—of collecting bioluminescent seashells scattered across the sand, before being allowed to move on to the main quest: the rescue of a damsel in distress.
The player's interaction, especially through multiple-choice dialogues with the narrator, influences the unfolding of the story and can trigger multiple distinct endings, depending on players interpretation and conscious choices.

‘The Siren’ was commissioned by the Pully Art Museum as part of their exhibition ‘Vivre l’œuvre / Voyage aux frontières de l’art immersif contemporain’. 


Video game

YEAR 2023
ART DIRECTION, CGI, PRODUCTION Mélanie Courtinat, Nino Filiu, Pierre Moulin

‘Cooking for William’ is a short horror visual novel disguised as a cozy cooking video game 🥬🍅🥗🍕in which we assist ▢ ▢▢▢▢▢ chef in preparing a delicious meal ▢▢▢▢▢▢  her husband ▢▢▢▢▢▢ William ▢▢▢▢▢▢▢▢ ▢▢▢▢▢▢▢▢ ▢▢▢▢ ▢▢ ▢ ▢▢▢▢▢▢ ▢▢▢ ▢▢▢▢ ▢▢▢.  ૮ ˶ᵔ ᵕ ᵔ˶ ა | ₊‧°𐐪♡𐑂°‧₊ | ✮⋆ 💕

The game is initially presented in the parodic form of a simplistic, sexist casual cooking game, in which we help Marie, a jovial and naive NPC (non-player character), to prepare dinner for her husband. Quickly bored, the player finds himself tempted to install another game instead, in this case a horror game, ‘Forest of Fears’. As the second game gradually replaces the first, the latter becomes populated with monstrous creatures and elements from another register that gradually interfere with the cooking narrative and disturb the main character, who finally breaks the fourth wall, begging the player not to delete her.
The visuals, entirely created with the assistance of artificial intelligence, prove as often to be very effective in generating archetypes.


Photographs taken inside a video game

YEAR 2022 
EVENT Agence m_nstr_

‘A side quest is not enough’ is a narrative series created using the video game Watchdogs Legion by Ubisoft. This project is the response to a carte blanche offered by the latter, in the context of the first worldwide exhibition of in-game photographs, taking place in New York in November 2022.

The project tells the story of an NPC ("Non-Playing Character") who realizes that he is stuck inside a video game, that he is purely virtual, and worse, that he is not even the hero of the game. We then follow him in his frantic search for "real" sensations, in which he will go very far in terms of violence, but at the end he confesses that the real emotion that haunts him is an infinite loneliness, when the player will leave the game and turn off the console.