White Skin Closed Eyes de Mira de Boose, 24’, Belgium, 2016
Mention spéciale au Brussels Art Film Festival (BAFF 2016)
Prix du meilleur documentaire à Hyperfest Festival / Student Film Festival à Bucarest 2016
In 2014 I saw the work of Berlinde De Bruyckere for the first time, in S.M.A.K. in Ghent. Her work moved something fundamental inside me. I felt the suffering in life as something beautiful and I was drawn by the fragility of the sculptures. A year later I heard that her atelier was only 5 minutes from my home in Ghent. I decided to write her an e-mail with the proposal to make a film that is grounded in art itself, a film without imposed information but one that gives time and space to the viewer to discover.
The artist invited me to film in her atelier and in the Leopoldsmuseum in Vienna, where she would build a solo exhibition. Apart from these spaces, it was important for me to start with the animal clinic, the reality from where her work was born. I have spent many hours waiting for birth, absorbed by the strong atmosphere and sound. The artist’s father was a butcher and she vividly remembers witnessing a caesarian section as a child. “Consider it a birth, a birth where horror was carved into beauty”, J.M. Coetzee has written on Cripplewood. The writer has captured the essence of her work in words. Berlinde De Bruyckere showed me her books in which I saw the vivid connection between her work and literature, film and painting. This exchange of images and ideas was important for the formation of the film.
I noticed the similarities in gestures between the veterinarians and the assistants of the artist in the museum. I was interested by the careful touching of newborn, dead and artificial material. The assistants touch the sculpture as if it was a living body. There were also similarities in the transporting of the bodies, a movement that connects the different spaces.
The similarities in sensitivity made me intuitively edit in an associative way. The different worlds started to resonate with each other. In the last sequence they come together. The artist covers the horse and transforms it into a sculpture. The film ends with the moment where, through death, art becomes a celebration of life.
Mira de Boose
Mira de Boose (°1995, Gand, Belgique) est actuellement étudiante en Master à la KASK School of Arts à Gand. Entre documentaires et fictions, ses films ont souvent pour origine une forte attirance pour les espaces inconnus, lieux d’exploration modelés par la poésie, la danse et les arts visuels en général.