2K 16:9

Colour

English spoken

Subtitles in Dutch

16'17"

«PLUS» & Y D S | 2022
Koen Brams and Lisa Spilliaert

«PLUS» & Y D S is a film that centres on the work and ideas of Ghent-based artist Yves De Smet (1946-2004). It focuses on the encounters he had in 1965 with fellow artist Mark Verstockt, who was 15 years his senior, and the events that De Smet organized in 1965-1966 in the Academieraadzaal (academy council chamber) of the University of Ghent, with the help of other artists of his generation, including Gerard Geerinckx, Willy Plompen, Albert Rubens and Jan Van Den Abbeel. Through the spring of 1966, De Smet presented exhibitions, discussions and performances under the heading of the symbol “+”, or «PLUS». The activities became known as the «PLUS» evenings. To seal the alliance amongst PLUS enthusiasts, he even designed a membership card, the «PLUS» card. It is this unique artefact that plays the lead role in the film.

     The Academieraadzaal where the PLUS evenings were held forms the setting for a poignant series of entanglements. An older artist attempts to lure a younger artist along the path of geometric abstraction, upon which he himself has firmly embarked. In numerous letters to one another, friends separated by obligatory military service joke and tease, but fail to succeed in lending a guiding hand. A mysterious transaction of a work of art sparks the climax of the drama. Does «PLUS» stand for “positive thinking” (De Smet) and an idealistic programme of “constructive (and constructed) ethics of life” (Geerinckx), or is it simply a logo for a one-man enterprise?

     In black-and-white (at frugal moments also in colour), the film includes a strong selection of what had until recently been presumed lost photographs and archival materials, supported by an impressive soundtrack with fragments from works by composer Emmanuel Van Weerst (participant in the second «PLUS» evening), mixed by Laszlo Umbreit, who also contributed a composition of his own.

     In De Witte Raaf, art critic Christoph Van Gerrewey wrote about «PLUS» & Y D S: "A number of the events (…) are enacted once again (and very convincingly), juxtaposed with historic images and text fragments in voice-over. The result is a lightly ironic and humoristic, but also a pleasing, secretively mysterious introduction.”

     «PLUS» & Y D S was realized by Koen Brams and Lisa Spilliaert. It premiered on 29 April 2022 at Convent in Ghent, in conjunction with the exhibition «PLUS» and Yves De Smet: Ideology, Comradery and Rivalry on the Playing Field of Art in Ghent between 1965 and 1970. The eponymous book was released by Posture Editions at the same time.

The film was screened or exhibited at:

 

  • CONVENT Space for Contemporary Art Ghent (BE): 29 June – 05 July 2022

Credits :

Re-enactment:

  • Camera: Hans Bruch Jr.

  • Camera Assistant: Rosa Maria Galguera Ortega

  • Sound Recording: Bob Mees

  • Hair: Emma Catry

  • Styling: Robin Vandenbussche

  • Assistants: Emmelie Martens, Jolke Van Aerde, Martijn Van de Wiele

  • Costumes: Huis Baeyens  

  • Props Music Installation: Floris Vanhoof

  • Actor: Anton Pereira Rodriguez as Erik Mareen

  • Extras: Oshin Albrecht, Katrien Berkein, Dora Brams, Liska Brams, Omer Brams, Dennis Ceylan, Ines Collin, Johanna De Clercq, Johan De Coker, Emile Desweemer, Seppe Feijen, Simon Heyde, Leon Jespers, Anita Kmetova, Bart Koubaa, Freek Lannoo, Lisa Libbrecht, Melissa Mabesoone, Emmelie Martens, Kumail Syed, Mariami Tsotadze, Wout Vandevenne, Martijn Van de Wiele, Veerle Vercammen, Jef Woestenborghs

  • Photography Jan Van Den Abbeel’s work: Jordi Coppers

  • Documents and pictures provided by: Pascal Mortier, Albert Rubens, Universiteitsbibliotheek Gent (Archives Jenny Van Driessche – Galerie Plus-Kern) and a private collector

  • Music: Hygiène by Emmanuel Van Weerst, Sybaritmen by Emmanuel Van Weerst, Cybernetica by Emmanuel Van Weerst, Mimoïde by Emmanuel Van Weerst, Eerst by Laszlo Umbreit 

  • Editing: Lisa Spilliaert

  • Motion Graphics: Elias Heuninck

  • Translation: Mari Shields

  • Voice-Over: Flora Van Canneyt

  • Color Grading: Hans Bruch Jr.

  • Sound Edit, Mix: Laszlo Umbreit

  • Title Design: Oliver Ibsen

Produced by Escautville

Co-produced by CONVENT 

With the Support of: KASK, Flemish government, Stad Gent

 

«PLUS» & Y D S premiered in conjunction with the exhibition «PLUS» and Yves De Smet. Ideology, camaraderie, and rivalry on the Ghent playing field of the visual arts between 1965 and 1970 in Convent (Ghent) in 2022. The film is supported by and created as part of the multi-annual research project Ghent, playing field of the visual arts (1957-1987) (KASK & Conservatory (HOGENT - Howest)) by Godart Bakkers, Koen Brams, Wouter De Vleeschouwer, Sofie Frederix and Naninga Lens. The research project is financed by HOGENT.