Stijn Demeulenaere's work Nothing's going to happen to us... explores how perceptions of armed conflict relate to a lived reality. For Nothing’s going to happen to us... Demeulenaere interviewed people who had spent some time in contemporary conflict zones. In the installation, a young nurse recounts the sounds she heard during her stay in a conflict zone and the emotions the noise of war evoked in her. Her story is intertwined with interviews with sound designers who specialize in creating sound for action films. By confronting these two perspectives Nothing’s going to happen to us... wants to research the no man's land between imagined emotions on the one hand, and real memories on the other. Between an artificial ‘presentation’ of danger, which we all know from film and video, and the lived experience of an authentic memory. Both perspectives are delivered to the audience at the same time. The spectator needs to construct their own story from the continuous entanglement of information delivered to them.
The installation Nothing's going to happen to us… also refers to Flanders’ own history by using the sound of exploding WWI and WWII bombs. To this day DOVO, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Group of the Belgian army, still finds and neutralizes around 3000 bombs per year from both world wars. They are buried in the soil, as silent witnesses, hidden memorials. When DOVO disposes of these explosive remnants, they blow them up in a controlled manner. Demeulenaere recorded the sound of these explosions and, alongside recordings of battles in, among others, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, used them to model the voices of the nurse and sound designers. The sounds of these bombs and battlefields aren’t heard directly, but are modulating the voices of the people speaking, enforcing a chaotic framework on the memories and perceptions of the testimonies.
About Stijn Demeulenaere
Stijn Demeulenaere is an audio artist and field recordist. Having studied sociology and cultural studies, his fascination for sound led him to radio. He studied radio at the Royal Institute for Theatre, Cinema and Sound, worked as a journalist for several national radio stations and made experimental programmes for independent radio stations in the Low Countries and beyond. Since 2009 he has worked as an audio artist making installations, soundscapes and performances and creating sound designs for dance, theatre and film.
Demeulenaere investigates the relationship between identity, sound and listening. Field recording is the common thread running through his work. Through these recordings, he explores the relationships between sound, places, spaces, and listening. From remote, untouched nature through sleepy villages to the sonic fury of the metropolis, Stijn attempts to understand places by listening to them. Demeulenaere understands hearing as a tactile sense. He is attracted to sound owing to its directness, its malleability and its mysteries. Using sound, he strives to unravel social structures, personal histories and people’s unconscious imaginations. Stijn exhibits his work internationally. He is an associated artist with KWP Kunstenwerkplaats and lives and works in Brussels.
During Oorzaken Festival (1 June till 4 June):
Thursday, June 1: 19:00 - 23:00
Friday 2 June: 08:30 - 23:30
Saturday 3 June: 10:30 - 00:00
Sunday 4 June; 10:30 - 18:00
The installation can still be visited after Oorzaken Festival until 19 June( with the exception of sunday 18 June). Every day from 12:00 to 18:00 and around exhibitions.