Vernissage > 30/04 > 18:00

Installation (Affetti) > 1 – 22/05, Friday to Sunday (incl. Thursday 20/05), 14:00 – 19:00 > 22’

Film (Selected Works) > 2.9.16/05 > 15:00 > 90’

In 2003 the Van der Avoort brothers created the superb installations Vocabularium and Portrait de 40 danseurs for the exhibition celebrating twenty years of Rosas. Young video directors Aliocha and Boris will be exploring Act I of Cavalli’s La Didone, the libretto for which was written by Busenello, about the apocalyptic sacking of Troy by the Greeks. Remodelling Baroque paintings with images from today, and the original score with explosions of sound, they will be isolating faces out of the chaos like landscapes ravaged by turbulence and swept by turmoil … Ahead of this visual and sound installation, there will be a screening of a selection of their earlier films every Sunday.

Conceptie & realisatie/Conception & réalisation/Conception & realisation : Aliocha & Boris Van der Avoort

Beelden montage/Montage image/Image editing : Boris Van der Avoort & Isabelle Boyer

Creatie 3D beelden & klank/Création d’images 3D & son/Creation images 3D & sound : Aliocha Van der Avoort

Geluidopname/Prise de son/Sound-recording : Pascale Gigon

Met dank aan/Remerciements/Thanks to : Giulia Sugranyes, Taka Shamoto, Marta Coronado, Elizareta Penkova, Thierry De Mey, Frédéric Denis & Frédéric Jacqmain, Javier Paker Comyn, André Dartevelle, Jean Albert, Anne-Sophie Glatigny

Productie/ Production: Kunstenfestivaldesarts, Family Footage

Presentatie/Présentation/Presentation : Nadine, KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

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Énée : The walls are burning,

And the blood has been drained from the veins

Of this powerful city, once the queen of all Asia.


Cassandre : Thus life takes its course.

And even my father the king,

At the end of a long life,

Has lost his throne and his life.

Ah, the disgrace and misery of the weak human spirit!

It disdains the centuries and lives but a day.


Hécube : Admidst the ruins of my kingdom

I survive but am worn out,

My useless tears

A trivial testimony to my sorrow!

Whence comes my soul now,

Looking beyond the tears for a way

To voice its lament, while in this night

In one instant I’ve lost

My kingdom, my fatherland, my husband and my children!

Tremulous spirit

Feeble ans languishing,

Leave me at one! […]

Cassandra, ah Cassandra,

I weep, you weep, we weep together at ou extreme state:

We shall not see the next dawn. […]

Give me, o daughter,

Your hand, for I feel

My end approaching.

Let us go to look for

A courteous sword

That will soon take us from amongst the living;

Death is the least of this day’s ills.[1]

The opera opens at the climax of Troy set ablaze by the Greeks and dedicates its entire first act to human tragedies the chaos has inflicted. King Priam has just been assassinated, the bloodthirsty conquerors massacre everyone they encounter: they slit the throat of Creusa, Aeneas’s wife, they attack Cassandra to rape her; her lover Corebus, who rushes to defend her, is to die immediately; as for the queen, Hecuba, she is mocked and humiliated by the same Greek who was able to persuade the Trojans to bring the gigantic wooden horse filled with enemies into the city. Such a beginning immediately makes the dramma per musica extremely intense.

The major theme in La Didone is loss: physical loss – that of human beings, a city, a homeland – that becomes an inner loss: that of reality, of oneself, of the self. This theme is reflected in the way the acts are divided. Starting with the catastrophe of the city of Troy, the librettist Gianfrancesco Busenello takes a more intimate look at individual destinies. For Cavalli’s part, he shrouds the dramatic action in incredibly varied music, intermingling the diverse forms of the recitative, the accompagnato (singing with instrumental accompaniment), the arietta and the aria. He also offers lamenti of an emotion comparable to those of Monteverdi, including Hecuba’s heartrending lamento at the end of Act I.

Isabelle Dumont

Excerpt from the dossier Gian Francesco Busenello, written for the KunstenFESTIVALdesArts

Brussels, March 2004. Reflecting on their creation.

Through its use of the Trojan War this installation is meant to be manifestly pacifist.

We are working to compare and contrast this mythical war with archive images of our own history (particularly the ones that bear witness to the resistance of women): a film of fiction and of archives like virtual images. We are in the process of selecting different Baroque paintings which evoke the time of the Trojan War to mix them with these contemporary images, superimposing them in order to draw a parallel. For us it is about creating new images from a visible imprint: the Baroque imprint.

Affetti: literally “affections”, more precisely “feelings” or “moods”. The Baroque opera La Didone stages the heartfelt violence of passions: a suffocating human tragedy. Its music and libretto take us to the heart of a dark place, located between the real and the imaginary, where nightmare has no cause to be jealous of reality.

In our work on image, we have decided to attribute dominant chromatics to four scenes in Act I of La Didone. Four colours like a filter acting to tinge the representation of reality with affetti.

Baroque art excelled in portraying human passions: it translated the complexity of feelings and its chaos through a burgeoning of sounds and images. What interests us is the resonance of Baroque art. Why, today, do we still like its music, painting and other manifestations of its art? The violence and intensity of the Baroque spirit echoes very contemporary emphases for us (wars, imperialist crusade, rebellion, fundamentalism, female suicide fighters). This Baroque art is part of our western cultural baggage: it haunts us, it still contaminates the way we see things and we like to use it as a filter between us and the reality of our world.

This filtering dimension is of particular interest to us because as “film-makers/visual artists”, we never stop challenging the way we see things and the way we perceive the world, which we seize in order to restore its essence.”

[1] Libretto translated from the Italian by Clive Williams, Hamburg. From the CD, La Didone, world premiere recording directed by Thomas Hengelbrock. © DHM deutsche harmonia mundi.

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