Friday, February 1, 2008

Smokers Should Love The Blaffer and Chantal

The Belgians are known for strong beer and they'll be known for strong wills if Chantal Ackerman has anything to do with it.


The artist, whose videos are currently featured in a sprawling darkened installation of oodles of video screens at the Blaffer, sticks up for the smokers with the film Women From Antwerp in November in the far room on the second floor.

The film has also been shown as part of a play where four people smoke on stage and extinguish their butts on portraits of world leaders. Belgian collaborator Jan Fabre says of their work I am a mistake, "It was designed as a manifesto of sorts from an artist who is himself a heavy smoker, and who dies in the end from throat cancer...but the play now seems to have more relevance, with the whole world at war against cigarettes and smokers becoming a little like society's new negroes." A bit over the top, eh? Persecution over personal choice is bad, but not cause for that bullshit.