Genk Belgium, 2006.
Paysage, digital print, 75 x 45 cm, (Le Lot, France), 2006.
Paysage, digital print, 75 x 41 cm, (Le Lot, France), 2006.
installation view, Le Plateau, Paris, 2006.
The End (duration: 14 minutes, DVD from HDV)
video installation with digital prints and other elements.
The closure of the mines in the Flemish town of Genk in the east of Belgium in the 1980's and 90's remains an emotional subject for many the town's residents. As a means to break the solidarity of the mine employees during the period of retrenchments, the political strategy was to offer a diverse range of severance packages relative to each individual's situation. The strategy succeeded in playing off the employees against one another, with lasting consequnces for their personal and social lives.
Two men circulate around an office space in an otherwise derelict building. They are engaged in what seems to be the auditing of a company which has folded. They talk quietly whilst sorting through papers, calculating figures, making notes. Beneath their banal interactions linger glimpses of an intreague which menaces both their lives. The issue of taking a stand or remaining silent is a path both men need negotiate on their own terms. Operating in such close proximity to each other over an extended period, they have developed a kind of intimacy, both tender and manipulative.
The film is shot on a constructed set and in an abandoned coal mine in Genk, Belgium.
With Christophe Coning and Gregg Smith
Produced by FLACC, Casino Modern, Genk, Belgium, and La Maison des arts Georges Pompidou (Cajarc) and Les Abbatoirs (Toulouse), 2006. Developed during a residency at Maisons Daura.