One of Us (2015)

Concept & realization: Koen Theys
Executive Producer: Vincent Stroep – Ulrike Lindmayr
Camera & Light: Wout Hermans – Gregg Young – Benjamin Thys
Assistants: Karina Beumer – Karolien Chromiak – Jane Coppin – Vincent Hagnauer – Charlotte Tarras – Jonathan Van Essche – Karina Van Leengoed
Set photographer: Stef Van Looveren
Sound: Koen Theys
Sound Finalization: Johan Vander Maelen
Editing: Koen Theys
With: Members of The Procession of the Holy Blood, Bruges – The Penitent’s Procession, Veurne – The Holy Blood Procession, Meigem
Production: Escautville
Co-Production: Flanders Audiovisual Fund – Centrale for Contemporary Art, Brussels – Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels

This video is inspired by the ancient Flemish tradition to evoke biblical scenes in The Procession of the Holy Blood. From back in the 13th century until today, an annual event taking place on Ascension Day. All of the characters participating, are reenactors from Flanders three largest processions. They represent a cross section of biblical society. Starting off small and blurry in the distance, slowly walking out of a mythical white mist towards the camera, eventually disappearing in front out of the frame.
As they are moving closer, they alternately mutter “One of us ... One of us ... We accept you ... We accept you ... One of us ... One of us ... Gooble Gobble ... Gooble Gobble ... One of us ...” rephrasing a famous chant from Tod Brownings’ 1932 cultclassic ‘Freaks’. Among the muttering, there’s the sound of a rattle, and pounding canes reveal the presence of solid ground, yet all the characters’ feet dissolve into the misty white nothing they are surrounded by. Their naïve costumes, fake beards, wigs and exaggerated make-up seem to be more of a denial than they are an expression of their identity.
They look disconnected from the unity of the collective, for they are all part of an assembled, travelling carnival. Gazing into an infinite distance, deprived from all glory and grandeur of the original, they are a never-ending parade of lost souls.
(Femke Van Grootel)



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