The Sky Is On Fire, Emmanuel Van der Auwera's new exhibition at Botanique.
Emmanuel Van der Auwera lives and works in Brussels
Emmanuel Van der Auwera studied in France at the École supérieure d'Art de Clermont-Ferrand (2005-2008) and then at Le Fresnoy, the national studio of contemporary arts. He graduated from a post-academic course at the Ghent Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) (2014-2015) and received the Young Belgian Art Prize - Prix Langui. His work has recently been exhibited at venues including the WIELS (Brussels), the Pompidou Centre (Paris), the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), the Luigi Pecci centre for contemporary art (Prato, in Italy), Ars Electronica (Linz, Austria), Casino Luxembourg - Contemporary art forum (Luxembourg City) and Mu.ZEE (Ostend, Belgium). Works have recently been acquired by the Dallas Museum of Art in Texas, the KANAL Center - Pompidou (Brussels), Mu.ZEE (Ostend, Belgium) and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregan, in the United States.
Through his series of films, video-sculptures, conceptual projects and installations, the artist explores formal and conceptual filters, playing with the processes of representation and the transmission of images assembled from contemporary mass media. These works succeed in making the viewer question the visual culture that surrounds us.
The film The Sky is on Fire, made in 2019 and produced by The Botanique, will take to the stage in the Museum for its very first public airing.
The Sky is on Fire interrogates digital culture and memory through a virtual reconstruction of the urban landscape. Spectators will be invited to take part in an immersive experience which will plunge them into the heart of Miami. The film trawls the Miami back streets, strangely deadened by the use of a technology that can “scan” the environment using a smartphone, and delivering an account in which only the surface remains. This technology resembles a photograph folded and shaped with the techniques of origami, generating a digitalised reality, fixed outside time, as if the world had been ‘backed up’. A camera explores and probes the banality of these reconstituted places, while off-camera we can hear the voice of Chaz, an insomniac city dweller.
Captured on a new media platform on which the anonymous interact live with the unknown, this audio recording expresses the distress of a man alone with a reality that is slipping between his fingers. In the nocturnal torpor of these troubled times, Chaz delivers a rambling and feverish soliloquy, speaking of the permanence of things, technology and its powers, and his own failures. The empty promise of an era resonates in his voice and in the images.
“We are temporary, but what we do is permanent”.
The Sky is on Fire is part of a diptych. At the same time, the Gallery Harlan Levey Projects in Brussels will present the second film, The Death of K9 Cigo. Here the artist addresses our collective consciousness and gaze, reconstructing an implacable perspective on this event (the tributes to K9 Cigo, a police dog killed by gunfire in Florida) by publishing together a host of videos posted on a social media platform live from Miami.
Continuing to explore the themes of his films A certain amount of clarity, Central Alberta, Missing Eyes and Wake Me Up at 4.20, the two films extend this Belgian artist’s researches into the traumas, stories, and media education of the digital era.
Also in September, the installation of Emmanuel Van der Auwera VideoSculpture XX (The World's 6th Sense) will be presented as a part of the collective Open Skies exhibition of the Wiels.
Photos and videos
Date and time
|Wednesday||from 12:00 to 20:00|
|Thursday||from 12:00 to 20:00|
|Friday||from 12:00 to 20:00|
|Saturday||from 12:00 to 20:00|
|Sunday||from 12:00 to 20:00|