An attempt to build a tower (…)

2010, video based on a performance, 7′
Projection in black box

Group exhibition at BOZAR Brussels (Canvascollectie), Spring 2010
Solo exhibition at KBC Antwerp (Prize for Young Visual Art) Summer 2010

An attempt to build a tower of forty bilingual dictionaries (that people no longer needed) uses books found at flea markets and in recycled goods shops. The twelve shaky moments in which the tower almost tumbles are rendered in real time, other moments are accelerated. Simultaneously, you hear a radio broadcast by a Pennsylvanian religious radio service, during which a priest spreads a rather controversial message about the timing of Jesus’ return to earth.

The seven minute video connects this brittle truth with the unstable construction of the bilingual dictionaries. Image and sound seem unrelated, but they both refer to the Tower of Babel. This biblical story relates a frail truth to account for the existence of different languages and the spread of peoples: God punished the monolingual man for his vain attempt to build a tower as tall as possible on earth.

Directors of the Belgian museums,
Jury report of De Canvascollectie / La Collection RTBF 2010
KBC Prize for Young Visual Art 2010:
” The video of Elly Van Eeghem treats with sobriety the difficult relationship of every young artist with his/her knowledge, the heritage, the (art) history and the current events that feeds his/her imagination and conditions his/her vision.
Piling up books until the tower loses his balance and falls is definitely not a new action. But the rhytmic stacking of dictionaries to a Tower of Babel which collapses, accompanied by a soundtrack of compelling religious texts, shows a great consistency and a critical and intelligent perspective on the world.
The multitude of references and meanings, and the urgency of the message, make sure that this young artist stands out in De Canvascollectie / La Collection RTBF. “