Jour des crêpes
Alex Verhaest (BE)
Jour des crêpes
Film -

Maria was forty in 1995 when in belgium, in the midst of the Dutroux-crisis, the white marche forced the primacy of churchly influence to sing its swan song.
Last born into a poor and pious family of eleven children, she had succeeded in a tour-de-force which would take her seven sisters two generations; she had definitively distinguished herself from her inherited role as the housewife under the crusifix. Her favourite sister took up this role for her family. As less than an equal but more than a servant Benedicte sees to providing Maria’s daughter Madeleine with a cleanly and steady rhythm in step with the desanctified Church bells. A rhythm mocked by her own son, Dominik who is convinced different times are coming.
Both women identify with the things they feel are lacking in their life. Their emancipation, or lack thereof, has proven to be one of communicating vessels, with an emptiness as the result of plentitude.
Jour des crêpes is about the relationship between these two sisters. They symbolise the generation of nervous mothers of Flanders nineties.

First of all, my thanks go to Béla Tarr. His attentiveness and his advice enabled me to develop a new gaze. I warmly thank Melissa Dhont for her strong support in the making of Jour des crêpes. I also thank Hélène Devos, Marijke Pinoy, Els Deceuckelier and César De Sutter, whose contributions to the film went beyond anything I could have imagined. I thank all my technical team, notably Korneel Moeyaert who enchanted us with his light. I also thank all the personnel at Le Fresnoy for their expertise, their belief and their patience, and Early Birds Films. Finally, I wish to thank my father and my mother-in-law who helped me so deeply this year.

Alex Verhaest
Alex Verhaest Belgique
Promotion Michelangelo Antonioni

Alex Verhaest’s work centres mainly on language, stories and the impossibility of communicating. Her eminently pictorial art is organised around the juxtaposition of painting and video, with each new project constituting an act of research at the heart of non-conventional contemporary technology. During her MA year, Verhaest travelled in China, where she discovered the culture of the hackers. On a six-month residency at the Island6 art centre in Shanghai, she joined the now disbanded Platform for Urban Investigations. After that she travelled to Mexico City, Eindhoven and Salvador de Bahia, taking part in the group’s exhibitions at the Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico, the Van Abbe Museum and the Museo de Arte Moderna. In 2009 she decided to concentrate on her personal practice and took part in group shows in Belgium and the Netherlands. In September 2013 her first solo show, “Temps mort / Idle Times,” was held at the Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam. Her work has been selected for various festivals and art and new media events and has been exhibited in institutions globally such as ZKM karlruhe, HKW Berlin, Bozar Brussels, etc. She recently received the prestigious New Face Award at the Japan Media Arts Festival and a Golden Nica at Ars Electronica.

Cursus
  • Master of Fine Arts, Graduated in 2007
  • Solo debut at Grimm Gallery Amsterdam, 2013
  • Ars Electronica Golden Nica 2015
  • Teaching Comparative (and new) Media at Luca, School of Arts since 2015

Production : Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains