Encounter with Maarten Vanden Abeele
During the preparations for the exhibition Pacing Through Architecture (2009) at Bozar, the idea arose to create and show five 'project films'. Of course, architecture is a static given, but at the heart of Robbrecht en Daem's thinking is the idea that architecture only becomes real when it is lived in, experienced, and walked in. This tango between building and user is therefore best captured in its movement, on film rather than in a photograph. It is within this context that cinematographer Maarten Vanden Abeele - who until then had mainly worked in the dance scene - and Robbrecht en Daem found each other.
Robbrecht en Daem became artistically fascinated by Vanden Abeele's film 'Meg Stuart's Alibi' and immediately commissioned him to make five exhibition films (about the Concert Hall in Bruges, Woodland Cabin in Ronse, the offices of Robbrecht en Daem in Ghent, the Chamber Music Hall in Gaasbeek and Rubens Square in Knokke). Unlike many classic architectural photographers, Vanden Abeele always puts people first. Starting from this approach, he records buildings in a very personal way, from a broader, sociological context.
With these first five film works, a series of autonomous works of art was immediately created. The films were played simultaneously during the exhibition in dialogue with each other. On the occasion of later exhibitions, this series was regularly supplemented with new cinematic portraits of projects, each time by Maarten Vanden Abeele.