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Vermeir & Heiremans
Katleen Vermeir (* 1973 Bornem, Belgium) and Ronny Heiremans (* 1962 Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium) have collaborated as Vermeir & Heiremans since 2006, when they initiated the long-term project A.I.R.
Entrance from Academiestraat 18
20 May - 18 October 2015
Art and money. It is a centuries-old, often tempestuous, marriage. But what if we link art to the stock exchange and the world of brokers and high finance? Then we are instantly transported to the 21st century.
This is what the video installation Masquerade by the Belgian collective Vermeir & Heiremans does in the Bruges Burgher's Lodge, the informal meeting place of Bruges' wealthy citizens.
Today nobody is surprised that art is talked about in the same way as a stock exchange listing or an investment. However, in their semi-documentary short film Vermeir & Heiremans take the viewer on a tour of the underworld of these cash flows, to the belly of the artistic beau monde.
The first thing that we see, on the surface, is a series of flat screens with stock exchange listings and a kind of advertisement for the fictional product Art House Index. Then we see what lurks behind and underneath. Professionals from the world of art and finance. Characters that discuss the added value of art. Insiders that use highly unusual professional jargon with words and terms that only they understand. A type of gibberish that is the only language in which they trust each other, and which they prefer to maintain as incomprehensible as possible to the outside world.
A glossy magazine, which naturally understands the unenlightened citizen. That is also open for inspection. A beautiful publication with the title In-Residence Magazine # 02. A lifestyle magazine that superficially delves deeper into what the underworld has proclaimed to be commodity art.
And meanwhile the protagonists trade their words and values in a white cube art gallery, an auction house, a stock exchange and even a courthouse. Almost mystically connected by a kind of belief that traders and buyers, art dealers and art collectors profess, being genuine insiders.
(© Text: Walking Guide, Bruges Triennial 2015)
More about the project:
Website of the artists
Projects by 14 participants, mainly in the public space at the city center of Bruges. Part of the Triennale Brugge 2015, 20 May - 18 October 2015.