...how and how long will the audience watch a video that cannot end another way than with the murder of one of the two protagonists.
Klaus Verscheure (B°1968) is a Belgian painter and filmmaker. He graduated as an animation filmmaker in 1989 from the Brussels filmschool RITS. Although he started in animation he quickly turned to live-action becoming a director of several Belgian and Holland tv-series. He made award winning shorts and documentaries. Alongside he kept on painting which always had been his first love. During the time he got into the media world he also got into the Belgian gallery scene. He kept both worlds apart and held it this way for a long time. He was successful in both. In 2008 he had his first museum (group)show in the city of his birth, Kortrijk. In 2009 he had a first solo in the museum Fort Napoleon in Ostend. This led to a collaboration with the Amsterdam based gallery Amstel. They took him to Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. Since 2013 he had exhibitions in Belgium, Holland and France showing both his paintings and his videos. His videos are in numerous museums in Belgium and Holland.
Artists have paid attention to death and transience for centuries. And that is also the recurring theme in the work of Klaus Verscheure, both in his paintings and in his videos. His paintings show portraits, trees, mountains and houses, things we could see in our own surroundings. His videos, on the other hand, hark back to Biblical scenes.
KlausVerscheure produced his masterly video installation entitled 14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa in 2013. Verscheure links an emotion to each of the Stations of the Cross in the Christian tradition. The Stations are played on vertical screens in a large space and are supported by a haunting composition by the singer- songwriter Tom McRae, performed by the Spectra Ensemble.
Christ’s figure is played by a black dancer in the video; the figures of Mary and Mary Magdalene were also chosen with care. It’s not coincidental that the actors and extras wear modern clothing. The filmmaker went to work like a painter, deriving inspiration from the long tradition of Western painting. Chiaroscuro, which was so masterfully employed by Caravaggio and Rembrandt, is used with great care during filming; it strongly determines the atmosphere.
The artist is obviously inspired by Biblical themes. His production ‘Adam & Eve / Eve & Adam’ is a clear example of this. A stylishly-dressed man and woman calmly undress until they are completely naked. Then both figures start to get dressed again, but it turns out that the clothes have been swapped. The issue of sex and gender is artfully addressed in a very simple, but very serene way, on two vertical video screens supported by a composition for two cellos, again a collaboration with Tom McRae.
His recent (2021) video KAIN&ABEL once again is based on a biblical theme. He now asks himself the question: how and how long will the audience watch a video that cannot end another way than with the murder of one of the two protagonists.
Verscheure’s installations link the present with the past. He addresses us through our roots. He criticises without being polemical. He denounces the sense of guilt a number of religions have imposed on us, and lets us look at ourselves and the violent society we live in. He does this simply by creating beauty. He does that as a filmmaker, he does that as a painter.
The trees that Verscheure paints are not simply the subject because of their pictorial and picturesque significance. The mountain landscapes are not there to landscape and the flowers not to please, he paints them for what is no longer there. Absence plays a major role. People once hung from the trees, the flowers hang along the road in memory of someone who lost their life there.
Verscheure usually uses black paint to paint, if not it is red or blue. It is a conscious choice. By limiting himself to quasi-monochrome, the artist creates a certain detachment for the viewer and in a way distances himself from reality, which allows him to paint it.
When you are aware of the background of these paintings, a layer of meaning is added. This double layering is characteristic of Verscheure's works, it is everywhere and always present. His work is never gratuitous.
2022 THE ROAD video performance shown in ALMA a group show
KAÏN&ABEL video performance with Spectra Ensemble_St.Maartenskerk, Kortrijk – Klaus invited Kendell Geers, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou & Daniëlle van Zadelhoff
2021 KAÏN&ABEL video performance with Spectra Ensemble_Cinema Palace, Brussel
2019 ADAM&EVE/EVE&ADAM Les Instants Vidéo_Fiche la Belle de Mai, Marseille, France
BLACK IS A COLOR, video-installations at Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2018 ADAM&EVE/EVE&ADAM, video performance with Tom McRae_Nuit Blanche Paris, France
2017 ADAM&EVE/EVE&ADAM, video performance with Tom McRae _Nuit Blanche Brussels
2016 14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa, video performance with Spectra Ensemble_St-Maartenskerk, Kortrijk
14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa, video performance with Spectra Ensemble _Eglise St Sulpice, Nuit Blanche Paris
2015 14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa, installation on 14 screens_Festival van Vlaanderen, Kortrijk
2014 ‘Dust to Dust’ installation on 3 screens, 6’27” in loop AIVA, International Festival of Video Art, Sweden
14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa, installation on 14 screens_Nuit Blanche Brussels, 4 oct
2013 14EMOTIONS/Allegoria Via Dolorosa, installation on 14 screens_Transformator, Transfo, Zwevegem
2012 ‘Dust to Dust’ installation on 3 screens, 6’27” in loop, permanent_C-Mine, Genk, Belgium
2012 ‘The Third Battle’ installation with tindersticks (UK), permanent_In Flanders Fields Museum, Ypres
2008 Goed Nieuws, single channel installation, 5’40” in loop_Broelmuseum – Paardenstallen, Kortrijk
2002 Vincent at the Borinage, 52’, Beta SP_National Gallery of Modern Arts, Washington, USA
De Misleiding, Digi Beta, video & animation_ANNO’02, several locations, Flanders
‘Dance (H)all Day’ installation on 6 screens, live deejay en flyers_Beeldenstorm, Kortrijk
2001 Mousetrap 8’ in loop_DVD, installatie, Daedalos, Kreta – Greece
Fusion, reflections on 09/11, 4x12’ in loop op DVD + prints_‘t Casteelken, Rumbeke
2000 Zen en het Motorijden, 8’ in loop_DVD, installatie_Centrum voor Jonge Kunst _Gent
Déjeuner sur l’herbe_11’ Digi Beta_DVD_Extremis INTERIEUR 2000 Kortrijk
Zen en het Motorijden, 8’ in loop_DVD, installatie_Sas Van Gent – Nederland
Mousetrap, 8’ in loop_DVD, installatie, Young Belgian Artists_London – Great Britain
1997 5Stories: 5x10’_BetaSP, in dialoog met 5 schilderijen_Projekt 21 Waregem-Avelgem-Menen-Kortrijk
1992 Beeldburchten’ 7’ krasfilm op 35mm overgezet op BetaSP_Faks 92 - Festival Actuele Kunst _Kortrijk
Sint Maartenskerk / Kortrijk
Broelmuseum / Stedelijk Museum Kortrijk Belgium
C-Mine / Cultural Centre Genk Belgium
In Flanders Fields Museum / Ypres Belgium
Museum Raversyde / Ostend Belgium
MIAT / Ghent Belgium
MUSEUM HULST / Hulst Holland
Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Great-Britain, Los Angeles, New York, Mexico