Catalogue > Un extrait vidéo au hasard

Karl Van Welden

Images For Mars II

Vidéo | 4k | couleur | 28:37 | Belgique | 2019

In the life-sized video work IMAGES FOR MARS II Karl Van Welden investigates the effect of a disaster on the human body. People in a state of carelessness until a dark ash rain falls upon them, turning their idyll into a catastrophe. Or how a blissful moment becomes a scene of charred bodies on a patch of scorched earth. The choreography and movements are inspired by archaeological finds from Pompeii and Herculaneum, which literally show the positions of bodies at the moment of a catastrophe. After the eruption of the Vesuvius volcano, its victims were enclosed by ashes. In time, the bodies disintegrated while the ash surrounding them solidified, creating cavities. Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Fiorelli filled these cavities with plaster, creating a very precise image of the victims of this natural disaster. They remind us of the marble figures on medieval tombs. Sleeping beauties and tormented bodies, which reflect the Eros and the Thanatos of our relationship with the end.

More than ten years ago Karl Van Welden initiated United Planets, a cycle of visual and performative work based on terrestrial or human presence in the universe. How does humankind relate to the immensity of the universe? Using the planets in our solar system as anchor points, he searches for artistic answers to this fundamental question. The work comprises performances as MARS, PLUTO, MERCURY or SATURN, but also video, installations, interventions, drawings, paintings and three-dimensional works, which can act as reflections, preliminary studies, but could just as easily exist autonomously or be combined into one work. Whether sound or image with these works the artist explores multilayeredness, balancing between autonomous poetics and subtle references to social or political themes. His work has been shown in a variety of contexts such as Kaaitheater, Beursschouwburg, Vooruit, M HKA, KANAL-Centre Pompidou, Festival of Flanders, Concertgebouw Bruges, Marion de Cannière, Frascati (NL), Brakke Grond (NL), Metropolis (DK), Pact Zollverein (DE), Østfold Kulturutvikling (NO), le CENTQUATRE-PARIS (FR), Marseille Provence 2013 (FR), Le Vivat (FR), Uzès Danse (FR), Arsenal (FR), Naves Matadero (ES), Tokyo Wonder Site - TOKAS (JP), Gessnerallee Zürich (CH), Sonica (UK), Venice Art Biennale (IT) and Art Basel Hong Kong (HK).