PATRIA (VIVE LE ROI! VIVE LA RÉPUBLIQUE!)
Video installation for 1 projector and 1 flat screenmonitor.
In his book ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, the American philosopher Francis Fukuyama defends the idea that the end of history is reached. All the big ideologies of the 20th century have come to an end, he says, and they have made place for a post-ideological, neo-liberal pragmatism. More than trying to say something about the political situation in Belgium, Koen Theys asked himself the question, in response to these theories of Fukuyama, how to make a historical piece today for a post-historical society. ’PATRIA (Vive le roi! Vive la république!)’ was first created in May 2008 as a performance at the Martyrssquare in Brussels’. The action took place on this historical square in front of the Flemish Parliament, where about 400 martyrs of the Belgian revolution lay buried, and this event was shot with seven video cameras. Koen Theys inspired himself for this work by the painting ‘Scene of the days in September in 1830’ by Gustave Wappers. While ‘Freedom leading the people’ by Eugène Delacroix can be seen as the most important icon of the French revolution; the painting by Gustave Wappers functions as the most important icon of the Belgian independence. However, in stead of the people figuring in the painting by Wappers, the scene in Theys’ video is filled with riot policeman. They all lay asleep near their dogs and horses, and once in a while some of them are yelling slogans like: ‘Long live the king!’; ‘Long live the republic!’; ‘Long live the sky!’; ‘Long live the dogs!’; Long live democracy!’ or ‘Long live my mother!’. They communicate in the three national languages of Belgium: Dutch, French and German. All possible political points of view are passing by, as well as the biggest trivialities.
- Format HDV(High Definition Video)
- Color system PAL
- Color col.
- Year 2009
- Duration 00:48:58
Spoken: German, Dutch/ Flemish, French