images

technical info

2008

Video installation for 1 projector and 1 flatscreen monitor

2 x 48'58" (loop)

HDV — colour — stereo

Orig. Version: Dutch, French, German

Production & realization: Koen Theys

With: Jamal Boukhriss, Bernard Breuse, David Dermez, Guy Dermul, Bernard Eylenbosch, Nedjma Hadj,

David Strosberg, Willy Thomas, Bernard Van Eeghem, Peter Vanden Bempt, Mieke Verdin,

'De Ridders te Paard', ...a.o.

Production manager: Bert Leysen

Director of photography: Rutger Debrabander

Gaffer: Jonathan Wannyn

Camera: Wim Catrysse, Filip Gilissen, Azilys Roman, Frank Theys, Koen Theys

Sound design: Johan Vandermaelen

Assistant sound design: Bart Vandermaelen

Editing & sound mix: Koen Theys

Costumes: Jackie Fauconnier, Emma Zune

Props: Erik Dehaes

Assistants props: Lien Boelen, Sarah Devos

Technical coordination: Charles Gohy

Assistants technical coordination: Papikyan Armen, Jean-Louis Gilles, Xavier Lucy

Co-production: Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, Kunstenfestivaldesarts

Patria - Koen Theys, 2008

PATRIA (Vive le roi! Vive la république!) was first created on May 10th 2008 as a performance at the Martyrs' Square in Brussels, during the KunstenFestivaldesArts. The action took place on the historical square in front of the Flemish Parliament, where about 400 martyrs of the Belgian Revolution are buried, and the event was shot with seven video cameras.? For this work, Koen Theys was inspired by the painting Scene of the September days in 1830 by Gustave Wappers. This huge painting can be viewed in the Museum of Art in Brussels. Like the famous painting Freedom Leading the People by Eugène Delacroix, the most important icon of the French Revolution, the painting by Gustave Wappers can be considered the most important icon of the Belgian independence.? However, instead of the people figuring in the painting by Wappers, the scene in Theys' video is filled with riot policemen. They are all sleeping near their dogs and horses and once in a while, some of them yell slogans like 'Long live the king!', 'Long live the republic!', 'Long live the sky!', 'Long live the dogs!', 'Long live democracy!', 'Long live my mother!', etc. The slogans are yelled in the three national languages of Belgium: Dutch, French and German. Also some Arabic can be heard. All possible political points of view are passing by, as well as the biggest trivialities. In his book The End of History and the Last Man, the American philosopher Francis Fukuyama defends the idea that the end of history has been reached. All the big ideologies of the 20th century have come to an end, he says, and they have made way for a post-ideological, neoliberal pragmatism. In response to these theories, Koen Theys questions the (im)possibility of making a history piece in a so-called post-historical society