‘Un mal pour un bien’ focuses on the aftermath of the avian flu threat in the National Botanical Garden of Belgium (situated in Brussels) during the summer of 2006. Until then vast geese populations were seen to pose there. However, the birds both disrupted the local ecosystem and, because of the avian flu threat, posed a potential health hazard. Consequently, drastic measures were taken to reduce their numbers. A ban on feeding by visitors was imposed and part of the geese population was – allegedly – gassed and eradicated. The film follows a small hard-core community of regular visitors who are strongly attached to the animals and appalled by the events. The elderly group all sit on a bench, registered by a static camera. Sometimes a person gets in the picture and goes out again — whilst the conversation between them continues. Throughout the film they fiercely debate the relationship between man and the natural world, intolerance and aggression. They divulge alternative scenarios to handle the problems and contrive their own ecological analyses. Even larger political issues shine through the discourse, as when one man states that it is the alien geese that is responsible for the assumed disaster. The overall result is both touching, funny — and disturbing. The project was created for the contemporary art exhibition ‘Bruegel Revisited’ in the National Botanical Garden of Belgium in 2006. New video material was shot and edited on a regular basis during the exhibition itself. As such, the film grew organically and updated versions of the film were sequentially displayed. The last interviews were recorded during the closing days of the exhibition.

This work has been digitised in the frame of DCA Project

  • Format miniDV(miniDV)
  • Color system PAL
  • Color col.
  • Year 2007
  • Duration 00:23:00
  • Languageinfo
    Subtitles: English UK
    Spoken: French, Dutch/ Flemish
  • Artists