The Missing Script
17 January 2017 — 4 March 2017
Albert Baronian is pleased to announce the third exhibition of Robert Devriendt, entitled « The Missing Script ». The Missing Script is a project spanning several years. The subtitle of the first part is « Blind Seduction ».
Robert Devriendt’s The Missing Script can be seen as a “A wayward interpretation of a storyboard”. Possible storylines arise during painting through meticulous combining and staging of the characters on set. “The usual succession of script and storyboard get switched,” so says the artist.
The paintings of Robert Devriendt combine cinematic qualities with the pure craft of painting. Both his editing technique and imagery are at least partly reminiscent of film as he employs codes typical of that medium. Those codes make up our present day visual culture and they determine the way we look at reality. The importance of the mise-en-scene exemplifies this, as well as the use of props and picture motives that refer to specific movie genres like the film noir. At the same time, these overtly tactile stills are absolutely bursting with sensuality, thereby adhering to the much broader spectrum of Western painting. Contentwise and in form the painted images are being dissected and rearranged. They are in fact watched images. Paintings draw their force from the mutual combinations, associations which connect them. Because the whole is more than the sum of its parts! It is the sequence which determines the contents of the images. It is thus particularly important what occurs between the images, this kind of No man S Land where the interpretation of the spectator felt later.
Because the artist wants to examine our way of looking, he returns to these cinematic elements. By freezing the images the viewer is given time to look in depth. The selections, cuts and repetitions add another dimension to everyday reality. In doing so,The Missing Script is trying to figure out how the relentless flood of imagery presents itself to our thoughts and way of thinking, even to our perception in general. In short, The Missing Script is investigating the way these pictures define our idea of reality.
Robert Devriendt exposes how to be detached from the constant stories on us and how to select certain tracks, to filter and put in a different context to create our own history. A dramatic story which is opened with interpretatie.
The images in The Missing Script aren’t arranged chronologically, the paintings do not follow a logical order as they would in a well outlined plot. Instead, they are numbered according to their completion date. A scene painted later on, may very well be a flashback that at one point can be shoved in between scenes of an earlier date. This editing technique can give a totally new meaning to the images once preceeding. In many ways this is reminding of La Pensée sauvage, an essay of Claude Lévi-Strauss in which the concept of ‘wild thinking’ is introduced whereby the emotional and impulsive are emphasized rather than some predetermined structure. So, for example it is usually a form or coulour that imposes a certain connection.
The concept in which paintings function within the format of a storyboard, is new to the practice of painting. Where Devriendt’s work used to be consisting of a defined series of paintings, The Missing Script is one huge series which will develop over the span of several years. New as well, is the possibility of singling out one work, as if it were a cut, a snapshot singled out from the storyboard.
The Missing Script will be shown during several exhibitions, each one revealing different stages of what in the end will turn out to be a whole, a world on its own wherein everything is connected. Every exhibition will get its own subtitle. Initially, The Missing Script is a disordered, rather complicated story of images but it is the viewer who gradually fills in the script. A movie is playing out in his head.