MVI_7026-3aanp - versie 2 Paul Hendrikse The Peacock Walk (Wise Up Ghost) The Peacock Walk (Wise Up Ghost)2 MVI_7057-2 The Peacock Walk (Wise Up Ghost)4


The Peacock Walk (Wise Up Ghost)

The video work The Peacock Walk (Wise Up Ghost) was shot in the village of Ambleteuse, south of Calais, at Villa Robinson – the former holiday home of the Belgian amateur composer and poet Georges Flé. The Flé family used to invite Belgian and French artists and writers to spend the summer with them there. Many of these artists became regular guests, turning the house into an important site of exchange for the artistic scenes in France and Belgium around 1900. A number of  Théo Van Rysselberghe’s paintings were done in Ambleteuse, including The Promenade (1901), which was painted on the coast and shows four women in white dresses taking a walk. The women themselves – nicknamed ‘Les Peacocks’ – were also active artistically and organized small salons at which music was performed and texts recited for each other.

I visited the house, which is still a holiday home, and filmed the actors Wanda Eyckerman and Sid Van Oerle there. Together they re-enacted a number of historical photographs and paintings by Théo Van Rysselberghe in the house, designed by the French architect Louis Bonnier. The actors – somewhere between subject and object, reality and illusion – wear identical white costumes and seem like ghosts. They are the protagonists in compact scenes consisting of choreographed gestures or actions. Their ambiguous and intriguing presence charges the building and the source material used in the scenes with new connotations.

Camera: Paul Hendrikse, Editing: Janina Herhoffer, Performers: Wanda Eyckerman and Sid Van Oerle, Light: Jojanne Hopmans, Soundscape: Rudi Fischerlehner, Clothes: Dorothee Hagemann, Make up: Cindi Van Looveren, an art commission for ING Belgium Art Management for the exhibition To the Point, The Neo-Impressionist Portrait, ING Cultural Centre , Brussels.

16:9, 5:47 min., sound