Road Movie, A Collaborative Works With Mieke Bal

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Road Movie, video, PaL, 2004, 16:00 min, color, sound

It didn’t look like this on the brochure.

Depending on when one enters the gallery space, the one-shot film looks either like a still photograph, evoking a traditional landscape painting, or like a film. On a four-lane highway, dangerously close to the cars, on the edge of a green median stripe of hollow road, a man is walking. The man in the somewhat shabby, slightly out-of-style, but very proper suit and black shoes just walks away, his back turned to us. He carries two old cardboard suitcases. He walks fast and disappears into the distance, into nothingness.

Then something happens again. Turning from a small speck into a recognizable figure once more, the man returns, thereby relieving the tension created by his absence. Was he sent back at the other end, refused entry or chased away, or did he return because the destination had nothing to offer? Or, alternatively, did he return in belated acknowledgement of the viewer?