VILLA EMPAIN

 

Villa Empain was a passion, a vision, a plan, a home, an artwork. It is a heartfelt dream that was abandoned. Villa Empain, today, looks like it did in the 1930s, but it has turned into another entity held by the same fundament. 

 

Villa Empain exists between past and present, comprised of pieces of contemporary art within a single, unique piece of Art Déco and Bauhaus. It is a humble and enduring architectural body. It is a dichotomy of private mansion and public space. It is a conversation between a family’s history and an architect's dream, between a father's travelogue and an artist's performance, an encounter of water on stone, of charcoal on paper and of light on film.

Concrete, marble, brick and steel: little else made by human hands seems as stable, as immutable as a building. Yet, the life of any structure is neither fixed nor timeless. Outliving their original purposes, buildings are forced to adapt to each succeeding age. To survive, they must become shapeshifters. 

Villa Empain's atmosphere is strange and full of wonders. The camera touches gently upon textures, as if to glimpse the moments they witnessed. There is a secret to unveil, but as with every good secret it evades us, it is elusive, we can never grasp it. This experimental short film is an attempt to find out about something that we cannot put our fingers on.

 

So we put our fingers on wood, water, marble instead, and feel.

CREDITS

AT/BE/GER | 24min | 16mm | colour

starring TAMAR KASPARIAN

directed by KATHARINA KASTNER

produced by NICOLA S. SANGS | THE MOON EMBASSY

edited by OLIVA DEGREZ

director of photography IVO NELIS

sound design by HÉLÈNE CLERC-DENIZOT

colour grading by DANIEL HOLLERWEGER

title design by MICHA ELIAS

historical research LEEN ENGELEN and NINO GOGUA

assistant director OLIVIA DEGREZ

focus puller BORIS GODFROID and BJORN DEFRERE

gaffer JELLE BOLLEN and ROBBE MEYKENS

assistant production ZEIHAH QAHWAJI and HOSSEIN JABBARI

assistant post production CLAUDIA HAMMERER

 

special thank you to

LUC EMPAIN  |  THE FONDATION BOGHOSSIAN

This film owes to the artists and their works

DANIEL BUREN

ENTRELACER work in situ | 2016

LATIFA ECHAKHCH

A CHAQUE STENCIL UNE RÉVOLUTION | 2007

DOMINIQUE GONZALEZ-FOERSTER

CHAMBRE (L'INHUMAINE) installation in situ | 2016

FELIX GONZALES-TORRES

"UNTITLED" (BEGINNING) | 1994

"UNTITLED" (GOLDEN) | 1995

PIERRE HUYGHE

CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION 14 | 2016

ANDY WARHOL

SILVER CLOUDS installation | 1966 

CHUN KWANG YOUNG

AGGREGATION 15-JL038 | 2015

PETROC SESTI

TIMEFOLD | 2014

GOHAR DASHTI

UNTITLED FROM THE SERIES STATELESS | 2014-15

        film@katharinakastner.com 

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© 2019 Katharina Kastner  

Vienna - Austria