Belgian artist Walter Swennen invites us into his workshop for a thoughtful but playful dialogue between the movements of his mind and the matter of his works, between a way of being and a way of painting. Born just post-war, Swennen has been producing a polymorphous and inventive body of work since the 80s, characterised by its independence and its radical experimentation. When words fail and meanings get muddled, painting steps up, making light of the arbitrariness of images and words. Swennen moves from Brussels to New York, and helped by the film’s director and a team of curators of contemporary art, he speaks to his paintings, and they speak back. We are drawn into this painter-philosopher’s wacky world, in which Buster Keaton bumps into Titian, Krazy Cat rides a Dadaesque hobbyhorse, Mickey Mouse puts ears on Mallarmé, and Boris Vian jams with Thelonious Monk. Swennen is a master of not taking himself too seriously, while talking seriously about his art. With impish precision, this film prods and probes a great Belgian oddball artist.
Production : YC Aligator Film
Co-production : CBA, RTBF
With the support of the Centre du Cinéma de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Tax Shelter fédéral de Belgique