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extension#27 Masquerade single screen
extension#27 Masquerade single screen


single screen film by Vermeir & Heiremans

MASQUERADE borrows its title and structure from Herman Melville's last novel, 'The Confidence Man, His Masquerade'. The novel is an ironic critique of a culture of professional trust, which regards human relations as purely financial transactions. It is a filmic story in 45 scenes that narrates a series of exchanges between a so-called 'confidence man' and his victims.

MASQUERADE is situated in the ephemeral worlds of 'high finance' and the 'global art markets'. Its narrative is set in an environment that gradually evolves from a gallery white cube to an auction house, commodity exchange, trading pit and even a courtroom... all places where values are negotiated and exchanged.

In MASQUERADE a TV-reporter is telling the story of the protested 'initial public offering' (IPO) of Art House Index. The index proposes the transformation of the artists' home, which in their practice they define as an artwork, into a financial instrument. The film debates Art House Index from different angles. It is described as a financial instrument that has the potential to render an opaque static product that is difficult to trade, like a house or art, into a tool of measurement that is very transparent for many investors.

While the reporter is addressing the camera, what appears to be a reconstruction of the IPO, is taking place in the background. But then it all starts going wrong again! Is the audience witnessing an insider-sales in an auction house, a market crash in a trading pit or is it a hearing in a courtroom, one that tries to unveil the intricate dynamics of a confidence game? The whole situation gradually transforms into an abstracted visual landscape of opinions and tastes. After all, art, like finance, is a system of belief and their markets are where this belief is put to work.

Preview single screen version on Vimeo:
Password: M2015


Country: Belgium / Genre: Short fiction-documentary / Duration: 51' / Production year: 2015

Language: English / Subtitling: English, Japanese / Image: HDV / Color / Ratio: 16:9 / Sound: Stereo / Available in installation version (3 channels) and single channel version.



Andrea Phillips (three TV reporters, court witness), Michael Schmid (musician, producer), Werner Van Steen (Frank Goodman, dissident investor, market watcher), Vermeir & Heiremans (artist duo, directors), and also Mon Bernaerts (auctioneer), Philip Brackx (cook, collector, commodity trader, auction assistant), Frank Provoost (cook, commodity trader), Hans Bryssinck (gallerist, investor), Elien Hanselaer (curator, auction assistant, court official, forensic researcher, security, waitress), Nav Haq (curator, auction assistant), Liliane Keersmaeker (judge, gallery assistant, waitress, auction assistant), Heike Langsdorf (collector, investor, forensic researcher, security), Karlijn Sileghem (art advisor, lawyer), Peter Sileghem (investor, court witness, dissident investor), Fatos Ustek (art professional, court witness), Sun-Mee Vanpanteghem (interpreter, art adviser, market watcher, commodity trader), Mi You (gallerist, investor, dissident investor, court witness) + 100 EXTRA'S recruited by In the Picture

Production Team

Concept & DirectionVermeir & Heiremans

Image & Sound

Camera 1Amir Borenstein

Camera 2Katleen Vermeir

Camera 3Yishai Gassenbauer

EditBorenstein & Vermeir & Heiremans

Postproduction Borenstein & Gassenbauer

Sound concept Bennett & Schmid & Vermeir & Heiremans

Music & Flute Michael Schmid

Sound recording Justin Bennett, Ludo Engels

Soundscape & Mix Justin Bennett

Algorithm Jan Misker

Art Direction

Set Design Ciel Grommen, Dieter Leysen

Futures Buffet Philip Brackx

Costume Mieja Hollevoet, Lieve Meeussen, Fauve Ryckebusch (intern)

Light Ludo Engels, Jeroen Wuyts

Advice & Research

Art Market Advice Fabian Bocart, Andrea Phillips

Financial Advice Peter Sileghem, Werner Van Steen

Legal advice Sari Depreeuw

Research Vermeir & Heiremans

Set & Production

Set Construction Gaia Carabillo, Louis Philippe

Set Assistants Bob Cornet, Rozemarijn Daems, Noel Salaets, Sara Sansen, Kaj Temme, Bieke Van den Bosch, Cyrus Vercammen Clara Willemse

Set Catering Rosy Simoens

Set Photography Michael de Lausnay

Production Assistants Reintje Daens, Marjolein van der Boon, Kia von Schoubye (intern)

Production Katrien Reist, Vermeir & Heiremans

Production: LIMITED EDITIONS vzw

Executive production: JUBILEE vzw

Co-production: Auctioneers Bernaerts (Antwerp), 4th Dojima River Biennale (Osaka), Goldsmiths, University of London, 13th Istanbul Biennial, Musea Brugge, Stroom Den Haag, Triennale Brugge 2015, V2_Institute for the Unstable Media (Rotterdam)

Supported by Flemish Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and the Flemish Community