2009 – two-channel video-installation – 11min35s, in loop – surround sound – rear-project on 2 contiguous screens – dimensions variable

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The video-installation Dwelling constitutes a meditation on place and time, and is deliberately situated in an ambiguously area between painting and film. The video is constructed on the basis of animated photographs and consists of six sequences that form an open structure, merely suggesting a narrative..

Presented as a rear-projection onto two contiguous screens in a darkened room, it forms a diptych marked by an intersection that creates a “gap” in the middle, which breaks up the totality of the image.

Destoop lays the emphasis on the gaps, breaches, discontinuities that run through the work as a leitmotif: “Dwelling plays on various levels with the relationship between continuity and fragmentation: in the spatial effect of the installation, in the time intervals between the image sequences, in the internal structure of the images (with a discontinuity between foreground and background), in the contrasts between the Australian desert and the Scandinavian coast or between the grand panoramas and the fragile interiors; finally, due to the open structure, also between the work and the observer. This open, unresolved structure prompts active reading on the part of the viewer.”

The piece includes various references to genre cinema, ranging from westerns and road movies to Bergman’s Persona.

Using different animation techniques, camera movements and lights were recreated in post-production “(...) lending the landscapes an unreal, theatrical character. This robs them of heir dimensions, as it were, making them look as miniatures. The notion of landscape is questioned through these radical manipulations”.

Frank Maes, from the catalogue of “Beyond the Picturesque”, S.M.A.K. - 2009

installation view:  Beyond the Picturesque , SMAK, Museum for Contempary Art, Ghent (BE), 2009 - Photo Dirk Pauwels

installation view: Beyond the Picturesque, SMAK, Museum for Contempary Art, Ghent (BE), 2009 - Photo Dirk Pauwels

Dwelling  - production still

Dwelling - production still


photography & animation: Alexis Destoop | compositing assistance: Devi Mallal | music: Wim Lots Brendan Walls | sounddesign: Peter Lenaerts | produced by: Buda Art Centre (Kortrijk, Be), S.M.A.K. Museum of Contemporary Art (Ghent, Be), Nadine Arts Centre (Brussels, Be)

Dwelling - installation preview at “Beyond the Picturesque”, SMAK