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CATHERINE VERTIGE & KOSTEN KOPER

SAD IN COUNTRY

XX

Belgium is a country well noted for its 'vagueness' and taking this into account, these two Belgian films delve into the world of 'quasi' cultural forms. One of the vaguest notions in the cultural lexicon is that of the 'collective', and using a non-linear narrative, these films explore the history of Belgian collective art actions and the dominant and subcultural political / cultural ideologies they intersected with.

Both films grew organically out of a conference on Belgian art collectives, hosted by Komplot in 2005, and are neither obituaries for cultural idealism nor bittersweet tales of Utopian dreams of a 'better way of life'. They are a series of encounters, which raise questions about the collective archetypes that emerged during their research and shooting. “Is it alive, or is it dead?” is what Alain Resnais said was the only question worth asking in art, and these films use their medium as a tool of research to consider the worth and the worthlessness of art history.

‘Sad In Country (Part 1)’ covers five Belgian collectives: Agency (Brussels, 1992), Building Underwood (Brussels / Caudiès, 1999-2001), VAGA / A379089 (Antwerp, 1968-1969), Club Moral (Antwerp, 1981-2005). ‘Sad In Country (Part 2)’ features sections on the collective work of Jacques Charlier (Total's/Reportage/STP/Zone Absolu/Terril, 1964-1980), Ruptz/ Soldes fins de series (Namur / Brussels, 1974-1982) and the Family Rona (1953 -).

Disclaimer: ‘Sad In Country (Part 1 & 2)’ are non-commercial films for educational purposes. Produced by Komplot with the support of VAF and CBA.