12.12.23, 20:30, National Gallery (2014)
Frederick Wiseman, FR, UK & US 180', English spoken, not subtitled
Since the mid-1960s, American documentary filmmaker Frederick Wiseman has been exploring various social institutions such as hospitals, schools or prisons. In 2014, he documented the National Gallery in London in his characteristic style, once described as 'Reality Fiction', which often translates into a combination of an observational camera style with dynamic editing. In this three-hour film, not only do various masterpieces of European art history play a role, but also the visitors, guards, restorers, framers, guides and many others are put at the centre.
Discussions on marketing strategies among board members are interspersed with observations of curators, who carefully determine the positions of paintings while calibrating the light. Nevertheless, Wiseman presents the museum primarily as the product of an institutional logic determined by other bureaucratic processes. Only occasionally are we given time to contemplate the artworks in contemplative silence.
This film is introduced by art scholar Joséphine Vandekerckhove.