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Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys

Die Aap van Bloemfontein


12/09/2014 –
– 12/10

In 2014, 1646 co-commissioned The Ape From Bloemfontein (Die Aap van Bloemfontein). This mesmerising video delves deep into the realms of the nonsensical and metamorphosis. The distorted voiceover adds an eerie quality to the narration, as if the viewer is being taken on a surreal journey through the subconscious mind. The story unfolds like a dissociated trip on drugs, with strange and unexpected twists at every turn.

The performers in the video, unmoving as if they were sculptures, bring a haunting presence to each scene. From the therapist’s office to the jail cell, they embody a sense of confusion and vulnerability that is both palpable and disconcerting. Each scene exposes raw emotions and metaphysical grievances, leaving the viewer to ponder the deeper meaning behind the characters’ actions. As the performers’ inner turmoil is put on trial, the question of what guides their moral decisions lingers in the air. Are they grappling with their own demons, or are they simply pawns in a larger, more sinister game? The video leaves us with more questions than answers, challenging us to confront our own beliefs and perceptions of right and wrong.

Die Aap van Bloemfontein is a thought-provoking exploration of the human psyche, inviting viewers to immerse themselves in a world where reality and fantasy blur together in a soup. A soup that also is a sandwich.

Produced by: 1646, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds, GYPEX
Courtesy: Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery & Gallery Micheline Szwajcer.


About Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Gruyter (b. 1965, Belgium) and Thys (b. 1966, Belgium) live and work in Brussels. Selected solo-shows include: 2019 —Mondo Cane, Belgian Pavilion (curated by Anne-Claire Schmitz), 58th Venice Biennale, Venice; 2018 —Objects as Friends, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York; 2016 – Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin; 2015 —Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys: Fine Arts, Raven Row, London; 2012 —Les énigmes de Saarlouis, Galerie Micheline Szwajcer, Antwerp; 2011 —Im Reich der Sonnenfinsternis, Isabella Bortolozzi Gallery, Berlin; 2010 —Das Loch, Art Unlimited, Art 41 Basel, Basel.


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