OVERVIEWDEC 07 to JAN 26Solo Exhibition
- Solo Exhibition
- Emerging Artists
Dates and Opening hoursDEC 07, 2012 to JAN 26, 2013
Vernissage: 6 December 2012, 6-11 pm
A Porsche Panamera frees itself from the loop pattern of the motorway and drives underneath the viaduct into the misty landscape. The driver zaps between the radio stations till a pulsating Arab beat resounds.
The toy cattle looks beautiful behind the fence. Deer, as if stuffed, stare in the direction of the sound of the approaching car. Some tar-coloured horses break into a gallop; at the same time a buzzard skims over the car. In the megalomaniac hangars monster machines are arrayed, once more ready this spring to spray everything with poison. Outside, there is only the sonorous humming of the motor and the wind that stumbles over the rear-view mirror.
As the mat black Panamera glides into a long tunnel of mutilated trees and bushes that reach up several metres, the dim light stretches a green cellophane over everything. The dark interior contrasts with the pale neck of a young woman. The texture of her blond hair seems reminiscent of the precision of a Flemish Primitive. The curved neckline of the anthracite cardigan adds even more grace to her neck. The hair is kept loosely together in a plait, which like a funny Tyrolean object reaches down to the discreet décolletage. A gold cross sticks to her skin, dangling from a cold, minimal, wafer-thin chain. Her hands rest on the steering wheel, fingers stretched, the gel nails finished with French Manicure—as they should be.
The dark suit, the black interior—everything seems to have come from the mind of the same designer, or at least from people who compulsively visit the same cities, the same bars... The design codes have been adapted flawlessly, even more relentlessly than during the arrogant seventies, with the neatly trimmed lawns and men in dark suits with paper-white legs.
When the motors of chain saws start in different places in the forest, the window of the car closes silently, accurately. The shadows that enter the car cast stains on her dress. The landscape is like a video screen that has been inserted into the front window. A mobile phone rings.
Written in elegant letters, the arch above the cast iron gate reads “Domaine d’Illusion”. The gate slides smoothly open, well-oiled, metal on metal. It is like a curtain in a theatre that slowly reveals the setting. An endless driveway appears with beech trees, oak trees and lush undergrowth. Birds abound. Some robins engage in mortal battle when a female strays in. But innocently, with stately slowness, the Panamera glides over the entryway. At a right angle to the direction of the entryway an aerodynamically streamlined plane cuts a deep groove into the blueness of the air—the sort of blue that suits the pink of flowering roses on postcards from days gone by.
This is the place. The motor stops. Rhododendrons, several metres high, are blossoming. The purple dye bleeds from one bush into the other and colours even the deep shadows. From a bird’s eye view the dark car seems both menacing and vulnerable in the glade. Behind the car shapes and colours merge in the heat of the exhaust. A hand grasps for a silver purse; under her arm she clasps a pair of Louboutins. The handle of a knife protrudes from the purse.
The figure enters the forest. The nylon legs and shining heels contrast sharply with the leaves that crush under the heels. At once her movements push everything else into the background. Behind her, the green closes. Only an experienced forensic expert could deduce from the few broken stems and the small holes the heels have left behind that someone has entered the forest.
Now nothing can be heard, except the sound of the dying footsteps that seem to skilfully avoid all the plants and moist spots in the forest.
A man appears from under a pergola that is completely overgrown with wisteria. Like a tired hunter he walks down the path that leads into the forest. In the skin under his brown eyes there is fine craquelure. With each step leaves rustle. His tatteredleather jacket is perfect for camouflage. In the pond the duckweed glows brightly. Every now and then the man appears and disappears between the chestnut trees, which makes it difficult to assess his movements correctly. The man briefly halts and strokes the snakeskin bark of a hornbeam. With each breath the leather tightens around his back.
They had arranged to meet in the cabin in the forest. He would wait for her there. He moves some of the props, clicks open the shotgun and inspects the scarlet cartridges. Instinctively he sniffs at the barrel and then puts it down next to a rust-covered French sword with a copper handle, a Kalashnikov without a magazine and a replica of a Beretta 9mm. Candle-grease drips down from a wall, in all sorts of shades, mixed with the black sooth of licking flames.
At first he was content with a forensic inspection of the area around the cabin. Later he searched the entire forest, as far as the picnic area, from where one could see the first houses. He subjected every square inch to scrutiny, as if the entire area was one single crime scene. With his hands he dug in the soft forest floor. Sometimes he found nothing but stones or fragments of glass. Then he would suck the dirt from the wound and taste the metal of his blood. With every discovery his heart would pound wildly and it took a while before he controlled his heartbeat. Each time it was as if he was being electrocuted. There was thus a real danger that one day he would succumb to the sensation caused by a simple ribbon of a T-shirt or some other apparently trivial object. Anyhow, on his excursions he usually only came across living creatures, such as woodlice, beetles, snails...
He more or less ordered the objects he found on his trips. There was a pile of T-shirts, a heap of things that had to do with women’s underwear, shoes, pearls of broken necklaces, mobile phones, one fluorescent red smartphone, complete with a silver sleeve. On the walls there were tufts of hair, neatly arrayed according to their shade, from blonde to bluish black, strings with the seams torn apart and hasty finger prints, tights, and even an unblemished Russian fur coat with in the lining a certificate of authenticity. Right in front of the small window he had made a pile with fragments of broken perfume bottles, which contrasted sharply with the dull cement-coloured walls.
As he puts away a bright green chain saw he had recently stole from a van belonging to a pruning firm, the oil drips unashamedly on the concrete tiles. He halts briefly because he accidentally glances at himself in the mirror of a make-up set and stammers a few words: weapons and female stuff. He opens his laptop and at once the dark interior glows with a bluish hue. He takes a few pills and with eyelids closed he throws back his head. The remaining pills he repacks carefully in the scrap of newspaper. It is as if he suffers from vertigo. For a moment his eyes turn away and for a few seconds he leans on the rough wooden table.
He is ready. She can come now.
Translation: Dirk Verbiest
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