The Belgian artist Franciska Lambrechts makes films and videos, but she also makes installations in which she combines moving images with other, more ‘handcrafted’ art forms such as drawing, painting and sculpture. This interdisciplinary way of working often has a sour, provocative side. Lambrechts regularly makes a theme of her own incapacity to choose between the already well defined traditional art disciplines, where originality or renewal have become completely impossible, and the newer media, that are then experienced as alienating. Out of this uneasiness Franciska Lambrechts is interested, more broadly, in utopia and the utopian – how this always carries its own failure but nevertheless exercises an undiminished power of attraction.

The video film Ideaaahhhl is fully enacted in the claustrophobic seclusion of Lambrechts’ own apartment, an ‘inner’ that offers only a confined and muddied view of the surrounding reality. This place should be able to offer security, to be a quiet workspace – but no, the outside world penetrates too considerably, not via communication and exchange, but as a permanent transmitter of interference. Neighbourly noises, street sounds, and other forms of annoyance function here as personages, but then without a face or a story.

Lambrechts does not tell us a tale nor does she give us – even though she surveys the whole premises with the camera – an insight into her daily life. She shows us her living and working space as a series of ‘still lives’ that on diverse levels – and often not without humour – illustrate the text that the viewer reads and hears. Because in the apartment, in spite of all the everyday worries, things are read and thought about; not as a pastime but out of bitter necessity, in search for the thing that defines our identity and forms a basis for desirable (artistic) activity. An actress reads quotations from some leading thinkers out of Western modernity (Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche…), alternating with ‘thought exercises’ by the artist. Originating from the opposition between consciousness and matter, and more particularly, from thought over matter, the viewer becomes drawn into a web of dual oppositions, a concatenation of contrary pairs of ideas that do not apparently fit in relation to the world and only just lead to paralysis.

ideaaahhhl,  Franciska Lambrechts, 2008 © the artist & producer  
  • Thu 15.1.2009
    21:30 - 21:30
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    Koninginnegalerij 26 Galerie de la Reine
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