The audiovisual installation TREKVOGELS/OISEAUX VOYAGEURS (Birds of Passage) was inspired by a private collection of holiday slides from the archive of the Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi. The fifteen boxes of 1,500 slides document a dozen journeys to different parts of Western Europe made by a Belgian couple between the end of the 1950s and the mid-1970s. The photographs are of landscapes, monuments and tourist sights, the sort of pictures we all take when travelling. The same woman appears time and time again. She poses. She laughs. She is on holiday. But now she is dead.

In TREKVOGELS/OISEAUX VOYAGEURS sound and image conduct a dialogue with each other. Together they tell a fragmented story whose dramatic structure gives a sense of attending a play at the theatre. The spectator or listener constantly toes and froes between observation and interpretation, between what he hears and thinks he sees, between dream and reality.

The photographs become the stage set, the woman in the pictures a solitary figure wandering across mountain and dale, along deserted streets and round ruins. Just as memories take on a different meaning as we go through life, so do sounds and images appear in ever-new combinations and associations. Time and place are no longer important; colour, geometry and perspective win ground. The photographs become visions from a dream, visual memories. They are an expression of desires and feelings. They are ordered, rearranged and interlinked, before we conclude that we cannot possibly get to grips with the complexity of life.

Credits : Idea en artistic execution: Rebecca Lenaerts; Sounddesign, music and editing : Köhn (Jürgen De Blonde); Actors : Rebecca Lenaerts and Laurent Bonnet; Text : Rebecca Lenaerts; Cassette samples : IICADOM (The International Institute for The Conservation, Archiving and Distribution of Other people’s Memories); Photographes : Le Musée de la photographie à Charleroi; Co-production : FotoMuseum Provincie Antwerpen, Le Musée de la photographie à Charleroi, FLACC (workplace for visual artists).

Trekvogels / Oiseaux voyageurs, 30 min, Français / Nederlands
Copyright Rebecca Lenaerts 2010

Read a review from Indra Devriendt (H’Art magazine) in Dutch

Read a review from Amélie Van Liefferinge in French

Read a review from LeSoir in French

Watch a short documentary from Kunst in Limburg

Listen to a fragment