Journal #8 - Manon de Boer en Brussel
Journal #8 Manon de Boer en Brussel
With work by Sven Augustijnen, Els Opsomer, Deimantas Narkevicius, Franciska Lambrechts, Robert Suermondt, Herman Asselberghs, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Imogen Stidworthy and Peter Downsbrough.
The last exhibition in the journal series is in keeping thematically with the collection display NEDERLAND NIET NEDERLAND. Artist Manon de Boer (NL, 1966) and museum curator Phillip van den Bossche have jointly compiled a video and film programme based on the city of Brussels.* The exhibition however does not give any geographical insight or topographical overview of the city. Instead the premise of journal # 8 is based in the first instance on posing a number of questions about identity and community. Artists, theatre people, writers and dancers come and go in Brussels. It is a cultural centre where people meet each other and speak several languages all at the same time. Does the Belgian capital offer an exceptional biotope, or does the identity of the city ultimately play no great role? Is the concept of ‘community’ perhaps an inspirational alternative for that of ‘nationality’? The exhibition and the accompanying catalogue looks at possible definitions and explorations of this theme from a subjective viewpoint.
The chosen artists all live in Brussels – have lived there for a while or have a personal relationship with Manon de Boer. She herself has worked there since 1994. The videos and films in journal # 8 form a series of circular movements with various intersections, personal stories, loose connections between Brussels, Paris and São Paulo. They are about images and emotions between words and sentences, transparency, the continual search for new forms and the candid look, interpretation and formulating of ideas by a ‘foreigner’.
The narrating, out-loud doubting and thinking voice between language and image and the grey areas between ‘objective’ and ‘subjective’ form a red thread running through the selected works by
Sven Augustijnen (B, 1970), Els Opsomer (B, 1968), Deimantas Narkevicius (LT, 1964), Franciska Lambrechts (B, 1967), Robert Suermondt (CH, 1961), Herman Asselberghs (B, 1962), Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster (F, 1967), Imogen Stidworthy (GB, 1963) and Peter Downsbrough (US, 1940).
The video and film programme will be screened twice daily and includes:
Sven Augustijnen, Le Guide du Parc, 2001
(11 a.m. and 1.55 p.m.)
A guide talks about Le Park Royal in Brussels: its historical background, the sociological aspects, the differences there between night and day, etc. Little by little a possible reality between documentary and fiction begins to unfold in which the guide becomes the subject matter.
Franciska Lambrechts, Allons travailler. Waarom? Waarom? Waarom?, 1991
(11.45 a.m. and 2.30 p.m.)
The only reason to do something is the social obsession that something must be done. The central figures in the film are all young. Everything is possible but what to do? Ideals and disillusions, the experimental and carefree versus emptiness, meaninglessness and boredom. This ‘video fleuve’ is also a self-portrait – an analysis of time from within.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Plages, 2001
(12.20 p.m. and 3.20 p.m.)
A panoramic, nocturnal view of Copacabana beach: the public space, memories and impassioned stories, designs by Burle Marx, fireworks and a sudden downpour.
Robert Suermondt, S.O.L., 1997
(12.30 p.m. and 3.35 p.m.)
A new fictional space is revealed as the camera zooms in on the credits of the full-length feature film The Silence of the Lambs.
Els Opsomer, _imovie_[one]: The Agony of Silence, 2003
(12.35 p.m. and 3.40 p.m.)
A video film in the form of an ‘open letter’, achieved with iLife software. By zooming in and cutting a detailed montage of images and ideas has been assembled. How do you report on a trip to Palestine? Is it possible to unravel a complex reality, to talk about human dignity and integrity?
Deimantas Narkevicius, The Role of a Lifetime, 2003
(12.50 p.m. and 3.55 p.m.)
The film combines three elements: an interview with the British documentary filmmaker Peter Watkins (he has lived for a number of years in Lithuania), landscape drawings of Gruto Park, a theme park with statues from the Soviet era, and found amateur statues from Brighton. Image and sound follow their own form of logic, also the impossibility of objectivity and the power of doubt.
Herman Asselberghs, A.M./P.M., 2004
(1.10 p.m. and 4.15 p.m.)
A careful and economically constructed audiovisual monologue based on a stay in Palestine. Its maker chose for fiction and an almost virtual absence of images. The impossibility of the documentary in an explosive and over-mediatised reality.
From Imogen Stidworthy the video installation Elocution (1996) is being shown. A man and woman are sitting in front of a mirror and a camera. The young woman mouths the words of the older man. A silent exchange of language takes place. Elocution enacts a negotiation of power between the man and the woman, reflecting upon the roles of parent-child, father-daughter, teacher-pupil, man-woman. Nonsense rhymes, the mnemonics of childhood, and fragments of language lesson, are the vehicles of exchange as she tries to synchronise her lip movements with his words, bringing to mind the lip-sync of cinema as well as the process of learning to speak.
NOT YET (1983) by Peter Downsbrough, on permanent loan from De Fabriek, is being shown for the first time, having been in museum storage until now. The American-born artist has lived for a long time in Brussels and he made the object/sculpture as a result of a solo exhibition as part of the city of Eindhoven’s artists’ initiative. Place and meaning as well as language and space play a major role in his work. The words ‘NOT’ and ‘YET’ stand for general ideas. The meaning remains open, but the space is pluriform and not charged with any hierarchy. Or rather, how a formal, linguistic and abstract study can take on a compelling topicality (separate and dependent of time and place).
During the exhibition period it is possible to consult the full-length films of Peter Watkins, Barbara Loden and Marguerite Duras in the museum library.
The exhibition is accompanied by a new issue of journal in Dutch and English. Price 2 Euro.
Other journal # 8 screenings:
• Toute une Nuit (1982), a full-length film by Chantal Akerman.
• Several films by and with the Brussels filmmaker Boris Lehman.
These screenings are subject to confirmation.
* The film Sylvia Kristel – Paris (2003) by Manon de Boer is part of the video programme of the NEDERLAND NIET NEDERLAND exhibition and will be shown twice daily in the museum auditorium.
• De vertoning van de langspeelfilm Toute une Nuit (1982) van Chantal Akerman.
• De presentatie van een aantal films van en door de Brusselse cineast Boris Lehman.
Deze nevenactiviteiten zijn onder voorbehoud.
* De film Sylvia Kristel – Paris (2003) van Manon de Boer maakt deel uit van het videoprogramma van de tentoonstelling NEDERLAND NIET NEDERLAND en wordt dagelijks tweemaal vertoond in het auditorium van het museum