Chris Kennedy

“Anouk De Clercq: Architectonics”. February 1, 2015

Anouk De Clercq: Architectonics

The Belgian artist Anouk De Clercq embraces the power of computer design and animation to create potential other worlds—whether imaginary landscapes or utopian architectures—that look to the future whilst paying homage to such architectural visionaries of past and present as Etienne-Louis Boullée (whose eighteenth-century monument to Newton is reimagined in Oh) and Robbrecht & Daem, whose recent Bruges concert hall inspired the shadowplay of De Clercq’s Building.

As computer-generated forms, De Clercq’s digital worlds are what writer Anna Manubens refers to as “spaces without memory”: images of futurity with no direct index to history. In this, they bring utopia back to its etymological root—literally, “no place”—and open up imaginative vistas unfettered by natural materials. However, De Clercq’s commitment to architectural and musical structure gives her explorations the rational grounding of the best science fiction: these are speculative yet fully immersive environments, amplified by meticulous soundtracks of musicians like Scanner and frequent collaborator Anton Aeki.

Tonight’s programme concludes with the stunning Thing, which—unlike De Clercq’s previous work, all of which was designed entirely in the computer—was made by scanning urban environments and transforming them into pointillist three-dimensional profiles of buildings and streetscapes, holding space together through the barest suggestion of form. The high-definition image is able to contain subtle clouds of tiny dots that transform the real into an astonishing realm between nothing and thing, absence and the presence of total possibility.

Swan Song dirs. Anouk De Clercq, Jerry Galle & Anton Aeki | Belgium 2013 | 3 min. video
Oh dir. Anouk De Clercq | Belgium 2010 | 8 min. video
Building dir. Anouk De Clercq | Belgium 2003 | 12 min. video
Portal dir. Anouk De Clercq | Belgium 2002 | 14 min. video
Oops wrong planet dir. Anouk De Clercq | Belgium 2009 | 8 min. video
Thing dir. Anouk De Clercq | Belgium 2013 | 18 min. video

Approx. total running time: 63 min.

Anouk De Clercq in person.

Sunday, February 1   6:30pm