WIELS presents a selection of films by artists who each have produced films haunted by sculpture. Opening the series is Chris Marker and Alain Renais and 1953 classic Les statues meurent aussi (Statues Also Die), a critical indictment of colonialism and French museums through a lens that pans various sculptures, masks and other artifacts from Africa.
The filmmaker duo’s essay film sets the tone for a series of artists’ films that differently use the moving image to tackle the strange ‘thingness’ of sculpture. Whether it is the imposing, mute statue of Lenin seemingly abandoned in a Soviet countryside by Belgian artist Sophie Nys; or, the enigmatic black constructivist forms pushed around by two men in outfits vaguely reminiscent of futuristic battle gear in Polish artist Anna Molska’s Tanagram; or, the homespun materials (a crusty French loaf, its pale, soft bread center, rough wood blocks) of Zin Taylor’s The Bakery of Blok, a seeming cross between Robert Morris’s 1961 Box with the Sound of its Own Making and an absurdist DIY sculpture TV program; or, Belgian artist duo Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys’ eerie, daunting drama of a black model of ship that obsesses the group of recreation room escapees that stare at it in The Frigate. The numinous power of the sculptural object is the subject here.
Chris Marker and Alain Renais, Les statues meurent aussi, 1953. 35mm transferred to DVD, b/w, sound, 30 min.
Sophie Nys, Lénine en pensant, 2005. 8mm transferred to video, b/w, sound, 6 min. 36 sec.
Anna Molska, Tanagram, 2006/2007. Video, b/w, sound, 5 min. 10 sec.
Zin Taylor, Selections from the first season of The Bakery of Blok. Video, colour, sound, ca. 9 min.
Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, The Frigate, 2008. Video, colour, sound, 19 min.
Total screening time: 1 hour (01:09:46)