Based on eye-witness accounts and archival documents, this is a portrait of two important representatives of the Belgian avant-garde of the 1920s: Akarova, a dancer, and Marcel-Louis Baugniet, a painter and furniture designer. Using a black background and frontal light, the filming does not “correct” the reality of aging faces, but gives full play to memory.
“As Henri Bergson used to say: ‘At the intersection of mind and matter lies memory.’ Tracing the course of time is the most important theme underlying this tape. Instead of working toward a conclusion, the makers confine themselves to the experience of evasive duration. Instead of drawing a double portrait, they confront us with a gallery full of anonymous and yet authentic faces. Contemporaries, friends, and collegues are interviewed at random and without names. Their hesitations are as revealing as their words. At each occasion, the associative, kaleidoscopic function of memory is an important structural principle. The fragmentary character of the reminiscences is simultaneously remedied and emphasized by their selection of illustrations: an anthology of climaxes taken from interwar dance, film, architecture and the arts.” (Quoted from Edwin Carels in Inside the Visible, MIT press, 1995)