Ne mobliez mieFeel the heartbeat of history
Ne mobliez mieFeel the heartbeat of history
Exactly one hundred years after the death of marquise Arconati Visconti, the last owner of the castle, we are inviting theatre company FC Bergman to create an exhibition for this place. They immersed themselves in our stories and became particularly fascinated by the many photographs sporting the marquise in a mediaeval page's outfit. These portraits express a great nostalgia, an intense longing for other lives and other times. FC Bergman took these images as a starting point and created an audiovisual exhibition that will descend on the castle.
Ne mobliez mie
Exercises in Self-Preservation - A cinematic exhibition
01.07.2023 - 05.11.2023
FC Bergman I Toneelhuis I Gaasbeek Castle
At the end of the nineteenth century marquise Arconati Visconti, born Marie Peyrat, inherited Gaasbeek Castle. Her marriage to the wealthy Giammartino launched the 'simple middle-class girl' as a noblewoman. After her husband's untimely death, she spared no expense in thoroughly transforming the castle into a dream castle. She furnished it as a neo-Renaissance fairytale castle. In this radical anachronism, the marquise seemed to find herself at home in a time she could not possibly have known up close.
One hundred years ago, this melancholy marquise died. Before her death, she donated the castle to the Belgian state and most of its contents to Parisian museums such as the Louvre and the Musée des Arts Décoratifs. In turn, a special series of glass plates ended up at Musée d'Orsay. In these photos, the marquise, dressed as a medieval page, poses in her castle. Seemingly careless, reading or dreaming at the window, but unmistakably staged.
This series of photographs inspired FC Bergman to create a number of short films set in and around the castle. Residues from these film sets remain here and there, entering into dialogue with the castle rooms. Along with the film projections, they take you into a meditation around an unnamed woman who, just like the marquise, is skilled in shape-shifting. She thus spins a web of alternate identities around herself. Does she want to lose herself? Or is she just trying to secure her existence?
Everyone is most welcome to visit the castle and the exhibition. We just want to let you know that the short films in the exhibition contain some scenes that may be frightening for some people and for children. Some rooms are darkened. There is a modified route for children available.
Play Marie Vinck e.a.
Line producer Celine van der Poel
Cinematography Ruben Impens
1st AD Eddy Stevesyns
Make-up design Kaatje Van Damme
Costume design Charlotte Willems
Montage Bert Jacobs
Sound design Senjan Jansen
Coproduction Kasteel van Gaasbeek
Campaign image Saskia Verreycken (mask) en Charlie De Keersmaecker (photo)
With thanks to the Agency for Nature and Forests & De School van Gaasbeek
With the support of De Morgen & La Libre Belgique
Following the exhibition at the castle, FC Bergman will continue working with this material at Toneelhuis, which will be the starting point for an evening of dialogue between film and theatre. Ne mobliez mie – revue of lost vignettes will premiere on 30 November at the Bourla Theatre in Antwerp.
Ma vie a été un conte de fées.
[My life has been a fairytale.]
- Marquise Arconati Visconti
In the media
'FC Bergman envisages the lead role for a tragic figure, almost pathetically magnified. The staged scenes take various forms: projections, hallucinations, dreams, fears and desires. "Her universe is imbued with a desire for intensity and extreme experiences," Aerts says. "Perhaps she is looking for connections, but in a tedious way." The atmosphere is - as is typical for the Bergmans - creepy, dark and often absurd. Time periods intertwine. Ludicrous knightly heroism rivals modern fairy tale tragedy such as that of Lady Diana; the horror of gothic and dark romanticism alternate with the folksy, mystical experience of Marian devotion.
Geert Van der Speeten, ‘Griezelen in Gaasbeek’ ['Get the creeps in Gaasbeek'] in De Standaard, 30 June 2023
'Through these dreamlike films, we discover a woman who abandons herself to erratic worlds, somewhere between Werner Herzog and David Lynch. Sometimes, she's a female version of Aguirre, sometimes a scorned religious icon, sometimes Lady Di surviving her car crash in Paris, sometimes a human fragment in a massive pile of rubbish, sometimes an undead visiting her daughter at night. Without spoiling the surprise, let's just say that props and giant models slip into certain rooms to eerily echo the short films. An exploration of the theme of metamorphosis and disappearance, the exhibition intrigues and bewilders, offering a new perspective on the history of a castle that deceives the eye.'
Catherine Makereel, « Arconati Visconti, marquise des songes au Château de Gaasbeek » ['Arconati Visconti, marquise of dreams at Gaasbeek Castle'] in Le Soir, 1 July 2023
'All in all, a beautiful intermixing between the dreams and fears of the marquise and those of the FC Bergman collective.'
Guy Duplat, « Le château réenchanté de Gaasbeek et son excentrique marquise » ['Gaasbeek castle and its eccentric marquise'] in La Libre Belgique, 2 July 2023
'The photos exude something very powerful but, at the same time, look very fragile ... we found that simultaneously endearing and inspiring. In all times, and certainly ours, we as human beings have the strange desire to place ourselves in a time where we do not belong. Just think of all the tourists posing at the Colosseum, for instance. That fascination drew our fascination.' [Stef Aerts]
'The whole concept is almost overpoweringly beautiful, in a surreal setting of this newly restored building. Not only does it contain many details and references to art history [...], the atmosphere also gets under your skin.'
'The theatre company is not keen on ready-made answers; the simmering feelings of their visitors, which often persists for several days after the performance, that's exactly what they are after.'
Sofie Van Hyfte, 'Het geheime leven van de markiezin: theatergezelschap FC Bergman opent pas gerestaureerde Kasteel van Gaasbeek met filmische expo' [The secret life of the marquise: theatre company FC Bergman opens newly restored Gaasbeek Castle with cinematic exhibition'] in De Morgen, 4 July 2023