Passage I (Commerce)
HD video 10’
Sound by Vito Willems, Emma van der Put (2021)
Courtesy tegenboschvanvreden, Amsterdam
The work Passage I, II and III consists of a series of videos, a reflection on my walks through Brussels in 2020. The city as it was just before the pandemic, seemed to have been 'paused' and could now be contemplated in silence. I could wander through the image of the city. Stripped of its usual dynamic and social life, it seemed as if underlying structures suddenly came to the forefront. It struck me how strongly the public space was dominated by imperative commandments, implemented wishes and the urge for endless growth. In the series we pass through three locations that are shaped by different agenda’s. The first video, Passage I (Commerce) begins in the Galerie du Roi, a 19th-century shopping arcade still present in the centre of Brussels. Here, the ideas of the city, industry and consumerism of 150 years ago echo and mix with the latest fashion and the crisis of the moment. In the other parts the camera moves its focus slowly away from the city centre to the European Quarter and the North District. What does the visual language in public space tell us about the wishes and desires of our time?
Together with sound artist Vito Willems I revisited the locations of the film and we recorded the silence, the frequency of the space shaped by the architecture. Moving from one space to the other, it became detectable that the silence changed noticeably in character. Both in sound and image, the film ‘Passage I (Commerce)’ seeks to bring forward the subliminal messages that are conveyed within this designated public space.