Franck Vigroux & Kurt d’Haeseleer reflect on deep geographic upheaval

An excerpt from the new audiovisual concert from the avant-garde composer and the experimental video artist.

Avant-garde composer and synthesist Franck Vigroux comes together with experimental video artist Kurt d’Haeseleer for The Island, a multisensory reflection on the deep human and geographic upheaval that is the inevitable result of the industrial development of the natural world. The audiovisual concert was inspired by a number of stories of islands and valleys fated for destruction due to the construction of new hydroelectric dams, land masses that would be submerged by the surging power of the newly re-routed water.

Photography: Quentin Chevrier

Three stories from history echo throughout Vigroux and d’Haeseleer’s performance. Back in 1976 the Russian author Valentin Rasputin published Farewell to Matyora, a work of village prose that dealt with the dangers of industrialization, centering on a village located on a small island under threat of flooding due to the construction of a dam attached to a hydroelectric power plant. Sometime later, in 1980, the village of Naussac in the region of Lozère in southern France was submerged by expanding waters, the entire village engulfed by what is now known as the Lac de Naussac.

Finally, Vigroux and d’Haeseleer channel the terrible power of the Three Gorges Dam, a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River. This is a structure of such magnitude that it influences the speed of the rotation of planet earth. These three tales converge on The Island, a psychological journey through the emotional topography and psychogeography of these narrative landscapes. Vigroux’s throbbing electronics and searing noise are layered upon d’Haeseleer’s surreal cinematic collage, an audiovisual deluge that continually threatens to overwhelm the viewer.

The above excerpt of the film was filmed by G.Robin at IMAGO in January, 2021. Franck Vigroux and Kurt d’Haeseleer will tour The Island in the near future. For more information about d’Haeseleer’s video work you can visit his website. You can find Vigroux’s music on Bandcamp.

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