Sarah & Charles

An Unbelievable Truth

The work of the Brussels-based artist duo Sarah & Charles already held great promise back when they were students at Ghent’s HISK. Two years after their acclaimed film work Props for Drama: Suspension of Disbelief, now they return with another gem, A day will come my future will be your past. How do you use the medium of film to create the illusion that what you’re watching is really happening or has happened? The work of Sarah & Charles takes a wrecking ball to the so-called fourth wall, shining the spotlight on aspects that are usually kept hidden, but without giving the game away entirely. The artistic and philosophical dance between fiction and reality gives this film work a dynamic mise-en-scène, which itself becomes a protagonist in the mysterious world of An Unbelievable Truth.

The film – projected in Netwerk’s Studio space – deals with life and its remembrance, with expectations and disappointments. We watch a meeting unfold between two confident young women on an idyllic summer’s day. The topic of conversation switches from impermanence to replaceability and the contradictory nature of time. Several times, the rug is pulled from under any filmic illusion that may be developing through by showing voice over actresses recording in the studio. Amid the unnatural-sounding conversation, we watch as two speleologists make a unique sculptural discovery. Plato’s cave comes to mind. The sequence of scenes is no coincidence. The present is muddled with allusions to a particular past and what must be the future. It’s up to the viewer to construct the narrative in spite of the directorial ‘interruptions’.

This game-like quality is also present in the scenographic environment created by the artists in Netwerk’s Galerie space. The visual language employed here seems familiar at first glance but nevertheless encourages the visitor to explore new paths of meaning. The conditioned viewer is again manipulated. There are cracks in the fourth wall, which contains everything that ever happened and everything that ever will happen. The cracking of the wall reaches the brain not via visual channels but rather auditive channels, by means of the artists’ Sounds. These are a series of sounds, captured as words and installed in the room in a kind of analogue archetype of a surround-sound system. The Bricks series seems to amplify the echo of this illusion via its wormholes. In the vacuum of the exhibition, time travel almost starts to seem plausible, or are there no shortcuts to the past or the future after all?