As the Austrian filmmaker Peter Kubelka once proclaimed: cinema does not coincide with movement (“cinema is not movement”). From the chrono-photographic experiments by Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey up to the cinematographic conditions as we know them today, the essence of the cinema apparatus is defined as the recording and succession of still images, which, when alternated at a specific speed, can create a sensation of movement. This sensation arises precisely between and within the photographic image.
Antonin De Bemels is born in 1975 in Brussels. He discovered video art and experimental cinema at Erg (Ecole de Recherche Graphique), from 1993 to 1997. In his work Antonin De Bemels explores the potential of time and space as it is embodied in a single frame – the image as the static notion of movement. This fascination goes back to his early experiments with a Super-8 camera, in which he made use of the “long exposure” setting, which automatically adjusts the duration of the exposure of each frame according to the quantity of light registered by the camera. Later on, when he incorporates the video medium in his working method as well, the pieces of the puzzle fall into place: the combination of the mechanical possibilities of film and video recording with the elaborate performances of digital editing – the physical and the virtual camera – constitutes a previously unexplored source of spatial-temporal alterations. His research always revolves around the human body, as a dynamic organism of attitudes, gestures and rhythms. Whereas De Bemels pointed the camera first at himself, his close collaboration with dancer/choreographer Bud Blumenthal (and others later on) leads to countless new perspectives. Together they introduce a choreographic dimension in the transitional area between photography and cinematography. The result is a series of “videochoreographic” propositions, which causes the linearity of both the dance movements and the cinematographic medium itself to implode.