I hope you don’t mind that I sometimes send you a film that I’ve made; I realise they might not always be your cup of tea. I send them anyway so that you can see how much your rigorous training in art theory has influenced me, shaped me, and how it still inspires the work I make.
This time it’s an hour-long episode called King Philip and the Pied Flycatcher, which centers on a discussion about two opposing views of art: art that wants to change the world through activism, versus art that explores the world through perception. The discussion takes place between us, Kirac, and museum director Charles Esche. The whole affair is brought about by King Philip, a wealthy sponsor of the museum, who has commissioned us to challenge Esche and his museum program because he is unhappy with all the progressive activist art in the museum.
Most of all, I think it’s a film about how these conceptions of art – what it is, or what it should be – pertain to specific people and their daily lives. It’s a film about Tarik’s talent and insane character, Stefan’s quest for money and fame, my ambition and feelings of guilt, Philip’s whimsicality and his wife Inge’s motherly feelings. It is also a portrait of the romantic enigma Charles Esche.
I remember you once saying that you didn’t much care for contemporary art, because it doesn’t seem to hold up against anything that was made in the past (I can’t remember exactly how you said it, but something along these lines). I think that our series keeping it real art critics (Kirac) started out trying to understand why contemporary art is so exceptionally bad, and how this came about. Gradually it developed into a kind of portrait art of its own kind, hence the title King Philip.
Do let me know what you think, I won’t be offended if you absolutely despise it, or couldn’t get past the first two minutes. It is in Dutch, but the whole film is subtitled in English.