Manon de Boer

Manon De Boer (1966 in Kodaicanal, India) completed her artistic education at the Akademie Van Beeldende Kunsten, Rotterdam, and at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. Using personal narration and musical interpretation as both method and subject, De Boer explores the relationship between language, time, and truth claims to produce a series of portrait films in which the film medium itself is continuously interrogated. Her work has been exhibited internationally, most recently at the 2007 Venice Biennial and the 2008 Berlin Biennial, and has also been included in numerous film festivals in Hong Kong, Marseille, Rotterdam and Vienna. Her work has been the subject of monographic exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam and the Frankfurter Kunstverein, among others. De Boer currently teaches at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Ghent. She lives and works in Brussels.

Resonating Surfaces, 2005

Resonating Surfaces

16mm transferred to video, color, 4:3, dolby suround, Portugese and French spoken, English and Dutch subtitles, BE, 2005, 39′

Screams of death open Resonating Surfaces on a whitened and scratched film. It is upon that bearer of images where no image is to be found that the two female voices – opera parts of Alban Berg’s Lulu and Wojzzeck – act out a bodily vibration, a pure vibration which manifests life and which is succeeded by silence and a dark screen. The darkness slowly gives way to takes of São Paulo, searchingly gliding over the surface of the elusive city and skirting around the rhythmic bodies and portraits of some individuals. All the while there is a song-like voice, voices loosely uttering words and memories, making the sound have its own mental room which never derives from the one that is occupied by the image. A voice of an individual starts telling a story and becomes language as well as text while, in a punctuated off-beat rhythm, the image moves to the portrait of that individual. As Suely Rolnik’s personal story grows, the voice comes to the foreground and the image vanishes into dark takes of her and bright takes of Paris, into under and overexposure so as to give room to that voice, its physical presence and the images it summons.

Resonating Surfaces is triple portrait, of a city, a woman and an attitude to life. For the personal story of Rolnik, who is a Brazilian psychoanalyst currently living in São Paulo, involves the Brazilian dictatorship of the sixties as well as the Parisian intellectual climate surrounding Deleuze and Guattari in the seventies. The film is woven through by different themes: the other and the relation to otherness, the connection between body and power, the voice and, ultimately, the micropolitics of desire and of resistance.

With Suely Rolnik
Image Sébastien Koeppel
Editing Manon de Boer
Concept soundtrack Manon de Boer & George van Dam
Composition & Violin George van Dam
Sound recording Manon de Boer, Bastien Gilson
Sound editing Bastien Gilson, George van Dam
Final sound mix Christian Cartier – Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains
Produced by Blitz vzw/ Manon de Boer
Co-produced by Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains, Jan Mot, Transmedia – Hogeschool Sint-Lukas Brussel
With the support of the Flanders Audiovisual Fund

Sylvia Kristel – Paris, 2003

Sylvia Kristel – Paris

Super-8 film transferred to video, color, 4:3, stereo, French spoken, English subtitles, BE, 2003, 39′

‘Sylvia Kristel – Paris’ is a portrait of Sylvia Kristel , best known for her role in the 1970’s erotic cult classic ‘Emmanuelle’, as well as a film about the impossibility of memory in relation to biography. Between November 2000 and June 2002 Manon de Boer recorded the stories and memories of Kristel. At each recording session she asked her to speak about a city where Kristel has lived: Paris, Los Angeles, Brussels or Amsterdam; over the two years she spoke on several occasions about the same city. At first glance the collection of stories appears to make up a sort of biography, but over time it shows the impossibility of biography: the impossibility of ‘plotting’ somebody’s life as a coherent narrative.

After having recorded different stories Manon de Boer decided to only use two stories about the period that Kristel lived in Paris. In the course of the montage she decided not to show the two stories in their chronological order. In other words: to show first the story recorded in 2002 and after that the story recorded in 2001. This was done because the story which she tells first, ergo the one that you hear as the second one, provides far less details. In that way not only the memory of Sylvia Kristel is questioned but also the memory of the viewer is questioned and an element of doubt is introduced.

Kristel’s stories wander through some of the key points in her life, fluidly forming and reforming the narrative elements. The city itself is rarely described directly. She speaks of her films, her love-affairs and how these have influenced her life’s trajectory. The cities are co-ordinates to which her memories move to, find themselves within and move away from. This finds a parallel in the image. These images are filmed from high-up and at street level, moving over the cities’ skin: its roofs, apartment buildings and boulevards, intercut by shots of cinemas, publicity images and people. The architecture appears as an interface between interiority and exteriority. Old Paris is intercut with images of architecture from the 1970’s; buildings which didn’t exist when she lived there, but which are as iconic of the period as she is herself.

With Sylvia Kristel
Image Manon de Boer
Editing Inneke Van Waeyenberghe & Manon de Boer
Sound Manon de Boer
Soundtrack George van Dam & Manon de Boer




Cildo MEIRELES, (Brésil)

Eric BAUDELAIRE, (USA, France)

Société Réaliste (Ferenc Gróf, Hongrie & Jean-Baptiste Naudy, France)

Manon DE BOER (Belgique)

PCCP, (Équateur)

Bahar MAJDZADEH (Iran)

Other Visible things (not) necessarily meant to be Viewed as Art (section proposée par: Mabel Tapia)



EXPOSITION EN IRAN: Juin/juillet 2012

EXPOSITION EN ARMÉNIE: Août/Septembre 2012