Aïlien Reyns (°1984 be) is a Brussels-based audiovisual artist. She realises filmic portraits and audiovisual installations. Her films are always the result of an extended interactive dialogue and research process with the subjects of her film projects.
Her installations, on the other hand, function as pure documentation and representation of the performative interventions she does in the public domain and the direct dialogue that they create with the passers-by.
The artists' approach of the audiovisual medium is very much influenced by her schooling as a historian. As in historical writing, a conventional narration proceeds contemporary filmmaking. the truth claim that is excercised by a chronological narration, the demonstrative use of (visual) sources and a determining approach of the subject are some of its main shared characteristics.
In her work Aïlien Reyns continuously questions these axioms. She activates the subject by a co-creative approach and she treats the audile and visual elements of film as two independent narratives who each transport their own information. By not using the audio or the visual as a demonstrative tool but as complementary elements in a dialectic relationship, the spectator is forced to mediate actively.
As an inhabitant of Brussels, Aïlien Reyns researches the manifestation of forms and structures of social interaction within their urban context. The primary themes the artist continues to re-adress in her work are: housing, migration, gender, urban development and the audiovisual medium itself.
The esthetics that the artist has developed throughout her oeuvre can be traced back to three intertwined artistic motivations.
In accordance to her interest in common themes, she discovered that the common (non-professional) visual recording techniques were more apt in representing and documenting the stories she was looking for. These techniques do not only permit more flexibility and (inter)active potency of the filmmaker, they are also more accessible for the subjects she works with. To say it with a quote of the artist: “no camera can bring me closer to my subject than its own webcam!”
Ever since she started using these common audiovisual technologies, she developed a very strong preference and conviction of the esthetical value these low-quality video formats contained. While surrounded by a visual culture which tends to blindly follow the industries' claim to the esthetic supremacy of hd-imagery (lately 3D for example), she chose to perfect her personal esthetic of the technical imperfect or incomplete image. Within these images she finds more texture, more plastic quality and a more alluring invitation towards the public. She learned to exploit the technical constraints of low-quality cameras to create images which make an appeal to the spectator to actively engage with her work, to mediate and creatively complete the visual story she presents to them.
During her first years as a film student, Aïlien Reyns researched the audiovisual medium as such. Both V and = are works in which she explores the boundaries of her medium. the audiovisual exhibition "Mais on...", concluded a year of plastic research on the problems surrounding housing in Brussels.
When Aïlien Reyns graduates in 2011 from the Sint Lukas, school of plastic arts at Brussels, with “Here, here it is nice...”, she is selected by the jury to travel to Beijing with a Cinemaster scholarship. During her two months residency at the Beijing Film Academy she collected the footage for two films, Letter to Ai Weiwei and FOR THE RECORD, which she produced with the support of the flemish film fund (VAF) after she returned to Brussels. These works can be consulted at ARGOS, the centre for art and media in Brussels.
Aside her independent oeuvre, she also produced works through collaborations with other young artists. For example the video clip Slow Motion and the visuals for the London tour of Husband; Marcinelle, an audiovisual tableau made for the exhibition of Ester Grossi (winner of the Italian Factory Prize in 2010) in Paris; the co-directing of AC Transit Busfight, a film by Marius Packbier.
Other works can be consulted on vimeo: vimeo.com/user12388794/videos
In 2013 she started the video collective TRIPOT, together with longtime friend and audiovisual artist Marius Packbier. Initially it was their idea to define the informal collaboration that had grown between the two artists since several years. Since 2014 TRIPOT aqcuired two other artists, Martina Mellili and Mourgane Aubert.
Together with them, Aïlien Reyns is currently preparing the (post)production of projects '7 coulours of walls' and 'Mo-town' for the end of 2014 and 'Tracking the subject' which will be realised in 2015.