[ISEA96] Artist Statement: Christian Boustani — Cities of the Past: Bruges

Artist Statement

Bruges, in the Middle Ages the Venice of the north, locked between land and sea and beset by the misfortune of time. Plagued by natural disasters and the calamities that lie its heart and faced with decline, the city struggles towards it’s Renaissance… In the heart of that city works a painter, an inspired alchemist in search of new materials. There he mixes his breath with oil and pigments, condenses color and light, transparency and solidity. The secret of oil painting he discovers will offer immortality to his city. This film shows us the middle ages as seen through the imaginative eyes of the Flemish masters and does not restrict itself to a faithful reconstruction of historical fact. It shows a world of fantasy that combines legends and popular and religious rituals, while creating a story, searching for meaning and relinking fantasy with reality, the true with the not so true. Some of the characters seem like points of reference in this fantasy world as they merge with details from paintings by Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Pieter Bruegel and Hieronimus Bosch. They bring to light what archives have kept hidden: the secret of oil painting discovered more than five hundred years ago and kept stored behind the heavy and elusive silence of stone… Video: Cités Antérieures – Brugge

Hard & software featured: Image processing: Henry Paint Box (Quantel) Flame (Discreet Logic), Video editting: Video Cube with Photoshop Edit Box (Quantel), Audio morphing: AudioSculpt (IRCAM), Audio editting: Sound Designer Deck

  • Christian Boustani, Lebanon/France