May 22, 2009 - Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - 53rd Venice Biennale
May 22, 2009

53rd Venice Biennale

Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert

Collision Zone
Soundtrack in collaboration
with Y.E.R.M.O.
(Yannick Franck and Xavier Dubois)
7 June – 22 November 2009

Curated by Christian Mosar
Coordinated by Kevin Muhle
Ca’ del Duca

Organised by Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
Under the patronage of the Ministry for Culture, Higher Education and Research of Luxembourg

Professional Preview Days: 3-6 June 2009
Pavilion Opening: 5 June 2009 from 6 p.m.

There is a permanent Press Point from 3-6 June at the Pavilion

Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert, who started collaborating in the 1990s, have since created a complex body of work based on the photographic image. Their practice has been developing into multimedia installations that seamlessly intertwine still and moving imagery. Collision Zone, their installation for the 53rd edition of the Venice Biennial, uses a string of video images recorded near the Strait of Gibraltar and on the shores of Sicily to initiate a multi-layered aesthetic and socio-political reflection.

Although geologic imagery pervades the artists’ cinematographic work, the title of their site-specific installation reaches beyond a mere evocation of tectonics, i.e. the clash of continental plates. In the course of their research Bouschet & Hilbert have travelled to the borders of Europe, focusing on sensitive areas where the continent has become one of the best-protected territories in the world, a phenomenon commonly summed up under the catchphrase “Fortress Europe”. The coldness and cruelty of these borders, which have long since become a physical reality, was forecast as early as 1961 by the historical theorist of post-colonialism Frantz Fanon.

Collision Zone functions as a metaphor for the divide between two worlds: the African continent and the European Union. The apparent aesthetic appeal of the images and sound in Bouschet & Hilbert’s visual parable is undermined by the dark and menacing undercurrent – or “subduction”, if you will – that permeates the artists’ recent production, a series of archives of on-site image and sound recordings. Thanks to a tight editing of the documentary footage that allows the artists to construct new associations and meanings, Collision Zone extends into the distinctly political realm of human rights, asking if there is something like a universal right to immigration.

Beyond its tragic immanence, Collision Zone addresses the reign of technological mythology as famously depicted by J. G. Ballard in his seminal novel Crash! (1973). Following the British writer’s thread, Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert’s films merge aspects of modernity with deeply rooted archaisms in visually challenging environments.

Gast Bouschet (*1958) and Nadine Hilbert (*1961) were both born in Luxembourg and for the moment they are living between Luxembourg, Brussels and elsewhere. Bouschet takes and exhibits his photos and videos all over the world since the 1980s, particularly fascinated with the potential of the recorded image as a reflection, a comment and transformation of political and social-economic sign systems, visible within the morphology of urbane tissues and border zones. Since 1998 he has worked with Nadine Hilbert, who insured, among others, the sound for projects like Radio Cosmos (1998), This Space Between Us (2000), Zona Del Silencio (2001) and the online project

Numerous group and solo shows including: MUDAM, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 2008; Trienal de Luanda, Angola 2007; Vitrines, Dudelange, Luxembourg 2007; Camouflage, Brussels, Belgium 2005; Busan Biennale of Contemporary Art, Korea 2002; Casino, Luxembourg, Luxembourg 2002; Camouflage, Johannesburg, South Africa 2000; MUHKA, Antwerp, Belgium 2000; CCA, Glasgow, Scotland 1998.

Press Office of the Luxembourg Pavilion
Press Officer: Marc Clement • E: • Casino Luxembourg : T (+352) 22 50 45 / F (+352) 22 95 95 • Luxembourg Pavillion: T/F (+39) 041 520 7534

Luxembourg Pavillion
Ca’ del Duca • Corte del Duca Sforza, San Marco 3051; 30124 Venezia • T/F (+39) 041 520 7534

Casino Luxembourg – Forum d’art contemporain
41, rue Notre-Dame
B.P. 345
L-2013 Luxembourg
T (+352) 22 50 45 / F (+352) 22 95 95

Luxembourg Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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