Footnotes n° 3: Ria Pacquée - As long as I see Birds Flying I Know I'm Still Alive (2015)

Extra City Kunsthal - Eikelstraat 31, Antwerpen
25 Jun 2015

Starts At 19:30

Screening of two new Escautville productions: 'Running Around' and 'As Long As I See Birds Flying I Know I Am Alive', both by Ria Pacquée.

Followed by public talk with Chris Clarke and the artist.

'Running Around'
non spoken
11:59 loop

In this absurdist take on an 'Urban Trail' Ria Paquée drifts through her hometown Antwerp while intermittently encircling various objects and structures she encounters. A run down kiosk, an artificial hill with a playground slide, a battered metal curb, a hexagonal flowerpot, a concrete ping pong table; all of which would easily disappear in the dense fabric of the urban environment. With her act Pacqée forces the viewer to closely observe, what would have otherwise been neglected. In this process a spectre appears in the banal.

'As Long As I See Birds Flying I Know I Am Alive'
sound: Rufus Michielsen
non spoken

Ria Pacquée is a keen observer of public life. In 'As Long As I See Birds Flying I Know I Am Alive' she collects recordings made in Paris, Kathmandu, Athens, Istanbul, Bruges, New York, Varanasi and Antwerp. By juxtaposing images of the sacred with those of a very wordly nature she undercuts the anthropological, scientific potential of her material - a disorienting strategy often used by Pacquée. Two recurring elements, clouds of drifting smoke and prowling birds, evoke a dreamlike and looming atmosphere which makes even the most common gesture appear like being part of an age-old ritual.

Chris Clarke is a critic and Senior Curator at Lewis Glucksman Gallery, University College Cork, Ireland.