Body Language Sequences (2004)
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'What human beings tell with their bodies'
20 Ultra-short films on contemporary fragility

Artist's statement

In the Body Language Sequences I walk through the streets of Antwerp City, to work out a psychogeographical experiment. I want to investigate how people differ from each other, how people are using 'silent language' and 'personal space'. I am interested in the temporality of speed, acceleration, slowness and pause. How 'sub-movements' are expressed. How motion precedes emotion. Up to 90% of all of our communication is nonverbal. The direct actions of the human nervous system are usually subconscious, instinctively meaningful and more honest than verbal communication. Bodies do not lie. The 'subliminal' messages of the body are playing a major role in how we relate to others and how they see us. Our bodies are the most public signals of our identities, and private reminders of who we are. We imagine by remembering, or vice versa. In the ritual quality of interpersonal actions there is a hidden code of behavioural patterns, through which hierarchical and social power structures emerge. The body language sequences of the human figure in motion, are a display of our motivation in the flow of time.

The Body Language Sequences are a cinematic study of visualising and discovering time patterns of interpersonal behaviour. The revealed moments are giving an insight in the instinctive feelings, attitudes, expressions, gestures and emotions of human communication. In a series of experimental ultra-short films, each looped sequence draws attention to its own syntax —a rhythmic pattern of body language in motion. These visible acts of meaning are a search into what people tell with their bodies. During the montage I saw the world differently. I became aware that I was also documenting the diversity of changes in life style as an emerging element in society. The re-entered world became transposed, intensified, electrified. It was my intention to study the human character by exploring the micro-motions of human acts, extracted from the flux of life, and to convey a message which brings an articulation of visual thinking into play.

Shot on location in the City of Antwerpen, Belgium.
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Dr. Hugo Heyrman
Antwerp, 01.01.04

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