For its 7th edition, the International Biennial of Photography and Visual Arts of Liege changes name and becomes BIP2010. The choosen topic (Out of) Control aims to question our society, increasingly turned towards safety, the surveillance and the control. This exploration will inevitably meet its reverse: the desire, the accident, the chance, the insanity and the unpredictable. Argos is pleased to announce Michel François’ and Koen Theys’ partecipations to BIP2010. In Autoportrait contre nature, François is filmed with a fixed camera, in slow motion. He lights up a cigarette while glass bottles start raining down around him. Even when some of the glass projectiles only miss him by a hair’s breadth, he is unmoved, stoical: he keeps on walking around calmly, keeping to the prescribed frame most of the time, smoking his cigarette, slightly and indifferently kicking and treading on the glass with his feet. At the end, he throws away his cigarette and walks out of the picture calmly, leaving the glass chaos behind for the viewer to contemplate or inspect. Theys’ Last Man Walking portraits a group of people moving in a central row, applauded by others standing on either side of them. Together, they form a crowd where the roles of ’spectator’ and ’actor’ quickly alternate. The title refers to the idea of the ‘Last Man’ created by Friedrich Nietsche and actualised by Francis Fukuyama. Both of them consider this Last Man as the idea of a society in which humanity has reached all his goals, economically, culturally and politically, and feels no need for further development. However the title ‘Last Man Walking’ refers also to ‘Dead Man Walking’, the quote that is yelled in the USA when a sentenced to death person is lead to his execution.

Autoportrait contre nature. Michel François, 2001, video, colour, 11’52", sound.
Last Man Walking. Koen Theys, 2007, video installation for 3 synchronised projectors, colour, 16’40", silent.