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Chantal Akerman
Born in Brussels, Belgium, in 1950.
She lives and works in Paris, France.

With her film D’Est (1995), probing life in Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Belgian filmmaker and artist Chantal Akerman transitioned into the field of visual arts by transposing into the gallery space her experiments on time, the image, and the spectator’s perspective. In 2002, she pursued this encounter between image and fragmented narrative with the installation From the Other Side, a documentary work about the journey of Mexican migrants across the US border. After exploring topics of territory and identity through these two projects, for her second participation at the Biennale di Venezia since 2001, Akerman presents NOW, a new video installation she describes as “on the edge of fiction.” Through multiple projections, this work mixes images of desert and seaside with a layered soundtrack that becomes a distant sound of fury. NASA aerial shots are projected on the ground in a space of poetry, adventure, and myth, a sea bordered by the desert on one side and urban areas on the other. The setting is the stage of today’s geopolitical world, one she describes as “a tragic space.” With this installation, the visitor is thrust into a multisensory experience that maximizes the contrast between the fullness of the images and the omnipresence of the soundtrack. In the middle of the configuration, swallowed by a wave, the curves of a sand dune and the horizon line are an integral part of a landscape which is somewhere between abstraction and figuration, between the near and the distant.
Using fiction, experimental film, and documentary, Chantal Ackerman has been committed to her particular approach to cinema and art, one that is inspired by the French–Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard and the Canadian artist Michael Snow. Navigating freely between these disciplines, she has made more than forty films, documentaries, and video essays since 1968.

Details

  • Title: Now
  • Creator: Chantal Akerman
  • Date Created: 2015
  • Rights: Courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery, Photo © Chantal Akerman, with the support of Institut français and Government of Flanders.
  • Medium: multiple channel HD video installation, color, five sound tracks mono and stereo (still)

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