The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) focuses on the artist as entrepreneur in a global society that qualifies economy as the single measure of things. Offering a biting commentary on the contagious nature of capitalism it elaborates on the symbiosis of art and value, life and economy. Using codes of fiction and fact it questions representation and mediation of art and architecture.
The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) features Ma Wen, a Chinese artist/architect, whose practice Vermeir & Heiremans documented in China. The film also tells of two fictional characters. One is Hilar, a very wealthy investor who commissions the Chinese architect to develop a house for his afterlife. Through Hilar a world of economic fetishism opens up. The other is Lady Credit, a rather allegorical character that envelopes a dozen roles, all of them performed by one actress. Appearing not only as assistant in Ma Wen's office but also as the embodiment of all women in Hilar’s world, her multiplicity aligns with the financial market’s shiftiness. Among sumptuous footage of the designed interiors, the story is a Faustian tale that is allegorical of the balancing act that is life in the creative class.
The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) 2012
written, produced & directed by Vermeir & Heiremans
Country: Belgium / Genre: Short fiction-documentary / Duration: 37’ / Year of production: 2012 / Format: HDV / Language: Chinese, English / Subtitles: English, Chinese / Image: Colour / Ratio: 16:9/ Sound: Stereo
A project by Katleen Vermeir & Ronny Heiremans in collaboration with Ma Wen, Justin Bennett, Amir Borenstein, Mieja Hollevoet, Salome Schmuki, Karlijn Sileghem, Wim van der Grijn, Carly Wijs, Kristien Daem (photos)
A production of Limited Editions vzw supported by Flanders Audiovisual Fund and the Flemish Community. Coproduction: Argos, centre for art and media (Brussels), C-Mine (Genk), Cultuurcentrum (Bruges), deBuren (Brussels), Extra City Kunsthal (Antwerp), FLACC (Genk), Manifesta 9 Limburg (Genk) and Triodos Fonds. Research support: artist residencies in China: CEAC (Xiamen), TIM (Beijing)
Selected exhibition list for The Residence (a wager for the afterlife):
13th ISTANBUL BIENNIAL, curated by Fulya Erdemci, Istanbul (TR)
MANIFESTA 9, curated by Cuauhtemoc Medina, Katerina Gregos, Dawn Ades, Genk (BE)
7th SHENZHEN SCULPURE BIENNIAL, OCT Contemporary Art terminal, curated by Liu Ding, Carol Lu & Su Wei, Shenzhen (CN)
THE RESIDENCE solo exhibition at ARGOS, Centre for Art & Media, Brussels (BE)