Anouk De Clercq [BE]




Imaginary cities

An architect talks about the city he has built. Gradually we realise that the city is imaginary. His account is a futile attempt to give his ideas a fixed shape. This, in a nutshell, is the story of Thing, a book and video film by artist Anouk De Clercq.  

Anouk De Clercq: ‘Spatiality is a key concept in my work. I created Building (2003) following a conversation I had with the architect Paul Robbrecht about the Concertgebouw in Bruges. Oh (2010) was based on the drawings of the French architect Etienne-Louis Boullée. For Thing I talked to Professor Dirk De Meyer about buildings that have not been built, such as those of Boullée, Terragni's Danteum, the architecture of the Futurists, Kenzo Tange's master-plan for Skopje, and so on. These suggestions of buildings are similar to the virtual spaces in my video films. I also found inspiration in cities like Rome, Florence and Berlin. The most powerful feature of Rome is perhaps the layering of time, the survival of the past in the urban patterns and old buildings. In Berlin I am always fascinated by the many memorial plaques in the city. They are reminders of lost places, lost buildings and lost lives, and suggest a parallel, imaginary city. This is precisely what Thing is about: the memory of a place, architectural ghosts of the past that infect the present, imaginary buildings.’

• Anouk De Clercq (b. 1971) studied film at Sint Lukas in Brussels. Her work has also been exhibited at Tate Modern and Centre Pompidou. She is artistic researcher for KASK in Ghent.

by Anouk De Clercq | sound Scanner | image Scanlabprojects | editor Fairuz | voice Liam Byrne | dramaturgy Marianne Van Kerkhoven | text editing & translation Mari Shields | final sound mixing Maxence Ciekawy at Le Fresnoy studio national des arts contemporains | technical research Elias Heuninck, Yves Marquillie | title design Michael Bussaer | production Auguste Orts | executive producer Marie Logie | support Flanders Audiovisual Fund, CERA Partners in Art, Kaaitheater, Academia Belgica (IT), Nomas Foundation (IT), Le Fresnoy studio national des arts contemporains (FR) | thanks Dirk De Meyer, Paul Robbrecht, Alex Scott-Whitby, Matthew Shaw, Christine Sticher | distributed by Auguste Orts | Thing is part of The art of ~scaping a research project by Anouk De Clercq, funded by the Research Fund University College Ghent