4k Video Installation
28 min loop
Titled like the first series of landscapes prints produced in Holland in the Seventeenth century, Pleasant Places consists of a series of digital paintings exploring the boundary between representation and abstraction.
Inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, Quayola has returned to the same countryside of Provence 125 years later. The landscapes serve as a point of departure – a pretext to shape an inner motion and vision.
Through the misuse of image-analysis and manipulation algorithms, Pleasant Places challenges the photographic image and proposes alternative modes of vision and synthesis. Familiar landscapes – filmed in Ultra-High-Definition – is shown with meticulous attention to details and to the anthropomorphic shapes of the trees. Then, through the use of custom-software, the detailed texture of the foliage is reduced to two-dimensional masses of volume veering towards abstraction. As the outlines of trees and shrubs get blurred, nature becomes dense and almost impenetrable. The resulting compositions remain, suggestively, suspended between representation and abstraction, between the depth of the natural scenery and the surface of the screen.
In contrast to this vision, raw data-visualisations of colour and motion information follow in sequence the contemplative digital paintings to remind us what really lies beneath the surface. Pleasant Places pays homage to the modern tradition of Western art that takes landscape as a point of departure towards abstraction, reducing the complexity of the world into new alternative synthesis.
Software Programming: Nikolai Matviev
Cinematography: James Medcraft
Sound Design: Simone Lalli
Producer: Nicolas Wierinck
Producer Shoot: Luigi Filotico
Assistants: Caterina Rossato, Sebastiano Barbieri
Commissioned by GLOW
with support from BKKC and the Foundation Van Gogh Brabant, in the context of the 2015 Van Gogh Year
Thanks to Commission du Film Luberon-Vaucluse / Joan Azorin