'Woestijn', a movie by Steven Prengels, Arno Synaeve, Rachel Strijdonk created by Raumteid | with Lien Wildemeersch, Anne-Marie Cammaert, Christelle Cocquyt, Geneviève De Geest, Thérèse De Geest, Claudine Degruyse, Willem Deleu, Geert De Paepe, Mia De Vos, Margarita Dubkova, Lieve Fivez, Anne Fourez, Marleen Geijsen, Rita Geurs, Katleen Glibert, Lene Glibert, Fanny Heyndrickx, Ann Laureyns, Jan Mergaert, Rita Meskens, Nicole Saenen, Chantal Soetaert, Dominique Stepman, Martine Van Boven, Marc Vandecaveye, Annick Van de Maele, Hilde Van Den Daele, Leander Van Driessche, Brigitte Van Holle, Marijke Van Laere, Anne Van Rentergem, Charlotte Vanroelen | camera Rachel Strijdonk | edit Steven Prengels, Arno Synaeve, Rachel Strijdonk | music Steven Prengels | text Kurt Schwitters | musical performance Cum Splendore | production Raumteid, Cum Splendore | with the support of De Vlaamse Overheid | thanks to MSK Gent, Peggy Hobbels, Hans Synaeve, Stad Gent
'Woestijn' has the mysterious and probably last painting by the Belgian painter Gustave Van de Woestyne as a starting point. The landscape in this nigh-abstract work consists out of two almost evenly painted colour fields. The forty days that Christ, according to the bible, spend in the desert are depicted in this painting by Van de Woestyne as an inner experience.
With 'Woestijn' Steven Prengels, Arno Synaeve and Rachel Strijdonk make a tribute to the ritual. Their focus moves from the individual to the group, from the interior to the exterior. Yet A specific presence and concentration is continuous. It’s an exercise in observation - of a painting, a flag or each other. The members of the choir Cum Splendore emerge as the voice of the very landscape they inhabit.
And I, who gazed intently, saw a flag, which, whirling, moved so swiftly that to me contemptuous it appeared of all repose; and after it there came so long a line of people, that I never would have thought that death so great a number had undone.
Dante Alighieri, 'La Divina Commedia, inferno, canto 3'
© Rachel Strijdonk
Raumteid is a platform for projects with a visual and musical foundation led by Arno Synaeve, Steven Prengels and Wolf Govaerts.
Raumteid is based in Ghent, Belgium.
All images unless mentioned otherwise: © Raumteid, 2021