'As I said before, Borgerhout is a great place'
| 2016 | Dual channel video installation, sound, 14.16 min
The video shows inhabitants of Borgerhout, a multi-ethnic neighborhood in Antwerp (BE) where the process of gentrification is slowly taking place. We interviewed them about relating words such as ‘home’, ‘neighborhood’, ‘change’ and ‘newcomer’. During a one-time rehearsal they perform the same interviews again, but now from the perspective of one another.
In the film it is not clear whether these are authentic voices or a scripted dialogue where they were just selected in order to represent a certain time. Is it really research based or is it something that you could also made up? Is that too much of a cliché or is this on it?
Artists often occupy an ambiguous role in the development of gentrification. Attracted by cheap housing or ateliers in an often multi-ethnic and exciting neighborhood, the arrival of artists transforms the local district into a hip and appealing place to live, which will in turn attract the wealthier, raise the rents and ultimately drive less fortunate out of their homes.
As artists, we are interested in our own ambiguous role as directors. Who is actually talking in the film? The participant or the author? And to whom? Who is directing whom here?