[OFF SITE] 2013
- Frank & Robbert / Robbert & Frank is the artistic alter ego of Frank Merkx and Robbert Goyvaerts. Both live and work in Belgium. They entered the Belgian art scene in 2008 by winning the first price of “De Kunstbende”, Belgium`s most prestigious undergraduate art contest. Their work is not restricted to video art. They cross the boundaries between theatre, cinema and visual arts. Five years on, they have exhibited and shown their art works in more than 40 locations all over the world, including Hong Kong, Thailand, Czech Republic, and Qatar.
Their most recent video work ‘The Gilded Child’ will be on screen for the first time in kunstraum LAGE EGAL. Frank Merkx and Robbert Goyvaerts take the viewer on a mysterious journey through their video work. The work is filled with symbolic elements from Western and Eastern ancient history. As an example, the work reveals some astonishing links between hidden symbols on the one-dollar note, the secret Skull & Bones Society, and the mythical number 322. The reproduction of powerful symbols, such as the sun and the lion, leads us through a history of world leaders and dictators in both Western and Eastern societies. ‘The Gilded Child’ unveils a battle of symbols, a longing for power. The complex layering of the meanings through the use of symbolism and mysticism in the video leaves the viewer a space to make their own connections and create personal interpretations – it makes the artwork accessible to a very broad audience.
Characteristic of the work of Robbert & Frank / Frank & Robbert is their assimilation of open source material of mass media culture channels, mixed with their own recordings. Unlike many found footage mashups, they succeed to create a personal and coherent universe. By appropriating an outlandish and satirical visual translation of today’s society, they recall of the medieval imagery of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Complex buffoonery as socially critical metaphor. Disneyworld in a horror movie. Big Brother in a Hindu temple. These are just some allusions to the exciting world of Frank & Robbert / Robbert & Frank.