When I Stopped Reading Fiction And Started Watching History is an installation in the shape of a surveillance control panel. A 9-screen matrix is presented to the spectator, providing images that seem to originate from different periods of world history. History is being put under camera surveillance.

When I Stopped… is a desperate multi-screen search to history’s plot, in the margin of the contemporary free time industry. The installation images are shot at different large-scale re-enactments of historic battles. The participants try to bring history back to life as realistically as possible.

Re-enacting and reliving the past transforms history to something you can experience yourself, to something that is alive and authentic. They are both an answer to the mediatized world, in which we tend to experience more and more through a (computer)screen, as a reaction to the fictionalization of the past in Hollywood films.

But to which extent is it possible to create an authentic image of the past? The re-enactments eventually tell us more about our time than about history.

Credits: Concept and realization: Kurt d’Haeseleer | Music: Tuk | Design and realization surveillance control panel: Peter Missotten | Assistance: Bérengère Bodin | With support of the Flemish Government

The installation contains fragments from the video Archaic Smile by Kurt d’Haeseleer, a coproduction with the Impakt Foundation, Utrecht in the framework of Impakt Works 2008 and has been made possible with the support of the City of Utrecht, the Mondriaan Foundation and the EU (Culture 2007)

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