Bart Ramakers is a Belgian photographer of rather grandiose projects:
“Bart Ramakers (1963) photographs picturesque scenes that reflect on the “human condition”. He mixes fragments of myths and legends, gospels and fairy tales, operas and film classics to new stories, in a quest for what (still) makes sense, as a modern photographing Diogenes on the debris of the Occident. Cheerfully anachronistic and archetypal, because the human condition is eternal and unchanging.
Bart grew up at the banks of the river Meuse, in the shadow of the Van Eyck brothers. From childhood he drew, etched and painted, inspired by the Flemish Masters, by historical stories, baroque and romantic music and opera. His photographic tableaux usually descend from classical myths, legends and stories. They tell (from a contemporary perspective) myths of beauty and power, passion and betrayal, sensuality and brutality, life and death, often with a slightly ironic, sarcastic or humorous touch.” (bartramakers.com)
The video is about seven minutes long, but it’s really fun, visually abundant and full of picturesque castles, costumes, nude ladies (I slipped that in – there are, but it’s all very innocent), and colourful tableaux. You can see to some extent Bart’s vision – self-indulgent tho’ it probably is…
….personally I can’t imagine why he didn’t produce a short film, instead of/as well as the final tableaux that went on exhibition:
“Once upon a time, at the end of the Ancien Régime and in the early years of Modern Times, a princess named Flore married the promising Duke Wolfgang d’Ursel. Together they lived a very eventful life on their estate in Hingene (Bornem) and far beyond. In 1792, during the vicissitudes of the French Revolution, they started to build de Notelaer, a splendid classicist pavilion on the banks of the Schelde. This is where last summer we brought to life the imaginary world of Flore d’Ursel, with 12 enthusiast actors and 12 crew members. The 10 photographic “tableaux” resulting from this collaboration form a light-heeled ballet with noblemen, gods and mythological figures.” (vimeo.com)
…….and here are two of the tableaux:
The little cupid (Amor) is modelled by Elle-Marie Westerlinck – who has a private Instagram account, and some posts on Picbear.com – but doesn’t seem to have done any other modelling or acting – and Venus by professional nude model (not a p*rn model) Eva Evian, a Latvian relocated to Brussels, who is on both Tumblr and Instagram, and has worked with Bart on other projects. Here they are in matching poses:
……and as you can see – and the video abundantly bears testimony to – Bart didn’t spare on the beautiful settings for his pièce de resistance (you can just see the decorated floor they’re lying on, in the big portrait at the start of the post)….really a film director manqué……..