Invited by Travail et Culture (a community education organisation whose aim is to examine transformations and representations in the world of work), artist Lorena Zilleruelo decided to follow a Flemish couple who operate a barge. Camera in hand, she documented their lives as they navigated their container route.
Le temps d’un fleuve [Once upon a river] (2021) runs from the port in Dunkirk, a multi-modal platform in the Valenciennois region, to the port of Antwerp. This film takes on the slowness of the barge, capturing the passing, contemplative landscape, the magic of the estuary lights on the Scheldt river and its industrial universe. Through movement and gesture, it shows clashing rhythms and historical signs of a changing world.
“Rudi is a boatman and navigates mainly on the Scheldt river; he is the son of a long line of boatmen who have navigated and lived on these waters since the start of the 19th century. From lock to lock, port to port, he travels through bucolic, urban and industrial landscapes for a living. He delivers containers on ever tighter schedules. Oppressing, this market constraint conflicts with the reality of the life of a boatman and his wife who live in a parallel space-time continuum, with its own slow rhythm and long stops. His children won’t be taking over the family business; he is the last boatman.”
Plastic artist, videographer and producer, Lorena Zilleruelo was born in Chili in 1974. She moved to France at the age of 18 to study art and cinema. At the national Fresnoy – Studio for contemporary arts, she produced an immersive installation in 2009 called Élan et Élégie [Impetus and Elegy] which has been incorporated into the collection at Frac Grand Large. Her films and installations are intimately alluring, a plea to political activism and collective memory.
Video, 33’50’’ / Production: Travail et Culture (TEC CRIAC) / Produced in the scope of the project: “Fluvial en devenir” [Becoming a River].
With support from the “Résidence d’artistes en entreprises” [Artist in a Company] residency programme, financed by the DRAC Hauts-de-France.
18.09.2021 — 02.01.2022