May 21, 2007 - Middelheim Museum - KOEN THEYS: THE DYNAMITE SHOW
May 21, 2007

KOEN THEYS: THE DYNAMITE SHOW

KOEN THEYS
THE DYNAMITE SHOW (2004) Middelheimmuseum acquisition

May 27 – October 28, 2007

Middelheimmuseum
Middelheimlaan 61
B-2020 Antwerp
Tel. 32 (0)3 828 13 50 / 32 (0)3 827 15 34 / Fax 32 (0)3 825 28 35
middelheimopenluchtmuseum [​at​] stad.antwerpen.be

www.middelheimmuseum.be

In The Dynamite Show (2004) by Koen Theys, an eight-minute orgy of spectacular explosions, the tension between a charged image motif and an abstracting montage/composition is taken to the extreme. This catastrophic catalogue of more than 200 explosions comes with a deafening soundtrack, which brings the work to the level of the physical experience.

Theys purchased hundreds of artificial explosions from a specialized firm, which usually supplies them to the mainstream film industry. Each of these explosions was designed to serve as a climax or catharsis in a classic film context. As a result of this accumulation of explosions without a real context, the images take on an absurd effect. At times these explosions into the void remind the onlooker of action painting, a psychedelic trip or endless pornographic cum shots. At the same time they evoke uneasy associations with the daily news footage of suicide attacks and car bombs, without the element of physical horror. The total destruction is thus separated from the suffering, is beautified and reduced to a clean, ornamental kaleidoscope. In that sense this choreography of chaos evokes associations with the futuristic esthetizing of total destruction. But at the same time Koen Theys also undermines the context in which The Dynamite Show is shown: I made this video based on the observation that the museum contrasts less and less with television and a spectacle-based society. In fact, it has even gradually been integrated into it. () On the one hand this is a festive fireworks display, but on the other hand it is also an undermining explosion of ones own exhibition space.

Johan Pas, 2007

The new acquisition will be shown at the same time as the exhibition PAUL McCARTHY | AIR BORN AIR BORNE AIR PRESSURE at the Middelheim Museum

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