Bricks - La couleur de la brique

2014 – 2018
3-channel video installation, colour, French spoken, English subtitles
47 min, 16:9
Unique

The project Bricks consists of the 2 video installations La couleur de la brique (2017) and Ingahi Kama (2018), the installation Circular construction versus human body – referring to Toshikatsu Endo (2018), the publication Piles des Bricks/Piles des briques (2020), the installations and performances Piles of Bricks (2020-ongoing) and the drawing series Brick Dust (2020-ongoing).

For three years, I have been working with local craftsmen, artists, the anthropologist Rafolo Andrianaivoarivony and the art centre CRAAM (Centre de Ressources des Arts Actuels de Madagascar) in Antananarivo (Madagascar). The three-channel video installation La couleur de la brique explores the links between earth and humans, object and body, handicraft and tradition. From there, it develops a complex anthropological narrative about economic and religious values in a (post)colonial context.
What ethical question arise when a ‘non-local’ artist presents herself in a postcolonial context as a (visual) ‘anthropologist’? La couleur de la brique is an interactive and intercultural art project that with regard to the content was supported by Petra Van Brabandt and her research group Art&Narrativity from Sint Lucas School of Arts Antwerp.
The video features several Malagasy artists who interact with the bricks on the brickmaking site in Antananarivo, parallel with images of the labourers at work. I sometimes appear on screen myself, asking questions or piling up stones. Beside the images of the town and nature surrounding the site, the narrative of a Malagasy anthropologist functions as the binding element.

See simulation of 3-screen installation here (key: Madagascar)           or singlescreen here (key: Madagascar)

Photos and stills Bie Michels