Alexis Destoop (BE)

 Alexis Destoop (b. 1971), lives and works in Brussels. He studied Art History at the University of Ghent, Belgium, and Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, before graduating with a Master in Philosophy from the University of Ghent. He worked especially on Walter Benjamin and the Frankfurt School and wrote his thesis on Gilles Deleuze's concept of immanence.

Following his studies he worked on different theatre projects with a number of companies (La Fura dels Baus, Los Cojones del Toro, De Onderneming), using texts by Marguerite Duras, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Samuel Beckett, and Rainald Goetz, amongst others. Jointly with Kris Verdonck and Arnaud Jacobs he is a founder member of the FYKE collective, through which they addressed questions of transversality and transdisciplinarity.

After this work in theatre, his interest focus shifted towards movement and the body. He also directed his interest to video and started to work on installations.

Destoop completed a Postgraduate Degree at Le Fresnoy, Studio des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. Here his work concentrated on notions of duration, focussing partly on the body and issues of location, conceived as mental space. His theoretical work questions processes of identification and memory.

His first film "I'm happy men" deals with the issue of fantasy in the form a fairy tale. The images are diametrically opposed to the dialogue written by Benjamin Verdonck.

Founder member of the Rebecca September collective, he staged the performance "Knockout" with Ula Sickle and Peter Lenaerts, which explores the figure of the femme fatale and film noir, as well as the subject of the marionette.

With an approach that is informed by minimalism, he is also interested in processes of fiction and narrative construction. He has just completed his second short film, "Pandora", in which he plays with the conventions of the thriller genre against the narrative foil of the Pandora myth.

As visual artist he regularly creates installations.

At present, he is preparing a work in the field of landscape photography and a film situated between road movie and science fiction, to be produced in Australia where he will stay from mid-April until end of July 2008.

Alexis Destoop is co-leader of workshop II.


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