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Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 10:22:02 GMT
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The Residence (a wager for the afterlife), video installation at Argos, Brussels

In their new video Vermeir & Heiremans focus on the artist as entrepreneur in a global society that qualifies economy as the single measure of things. In more than one way the video relates to Faust, part 2, in which Goethe presents Faust as a project developer. Conceived during an extended residency in China (2009-10), the project initiated a collaboration with a Chinese artist/architect, Ma Wen. Sharing insights on the creative clusters concept Vermeir & Heiremans documented his practice as a cultural producer.

The Residence (2012) is presented as a video installation, co-designed by Ma Wen. It features Ma Wen and two fictional characters. One is Hilar, a very wealthy investor who commissions the Chinese architect to develop a house for his afterlife. Through Hilar a world of economic fetishism opens up. The other is a rather allegorical character, enveloping a dozen roles, all of them performed by one actress. Appearing not only as assistant in Ma Wen's office but also as the embodiment of all women in Hilar’s world, her multiplicity aligns with the financial market’s shiftiness.

For this project Vermeir & Heiremans collaborated closely with Ma Wen, and with British sound artist Justin Bennett. Apart from the soundscape, the artists also commissioned him to design an algorithm that is linked to the currency market. The algorithm generates a never-ending edit of the Hilar footage.

The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) is a video project by Katleen Vermeir & Ronny Heiremans in collaboration with Ma Wen, Justin Bennett, Amir Borenstein, Mieja Hollevoet, Salome Schmuki, Karlijn Sileghem, Wim van der Grijn.

Photos: Kristien Daem.

A production of Limited Editions vzw supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund and the Flemish Community. Coproduction: Argos, centre for art and media (Brussels), C-Mine (Genk), Cultuurcentrum (Bruges), deBuren (Brussels), Extra City Kunsthal (Antwerp), FLACC (Genk), Manifesta 9 Limburg (Genk) and Triodos Fonds. Research support: artist residencies in China CEAC (Xiamen), TIM (Beijing)