[Untitled I] (WTWTA)

Tommy Simoens


Print, 1000 x 750 mm.
Materials: digital print, silver foil

Collection: Private Collection.

Using photography, maquettes and other reproduction techniques, Tommy Simoens (b. 1982) appropriates images and styles from art- and film history. He investigates the genealogy of images by remediating them via another technique, by reworking them visually or by presenting them in a new way. Here, Simoens starts from an experiment by John Lasseter who, in 1983 as a young newcomer at Disney, directed a pilot project to animate Maurice Sendak's story Where the Wild Things Are in 3D. The test-scene plays out in a hallway and a small room. A computer-generated model of a set of geometric figures formed the basis, and Lasseter wanted to combine this with traditional drawings and two-dimensional animation. But the film was never made, and he consecutively was fired at Disney. Nonetheless, Lasseter persevered, and time has proven him right. He went on to head Pixar, and his breakthrough success Toy Story made box-office history. Intrigued by the film and the story behind it, Simoens reconstructed the virtual décor of the hybrid animation film in an architectural model, made of cardboard. Then he indicated the camera shots there in white lines. At once, this maquette offers a perspective on an image from the film while also presenting its physical set-up. A small series of photographs on the wall show its details. In this way Simoens simultaneously deconstructs and reconstructs the film, but then without the protagonists. He leaves it to the viewer to mentally navigate within this virtual animation film set.

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