Alexia de Ville de Goyet


HARRI DE VILLE Les Ombres sont déjà des murs

“The poetic image is not subject to a growth. It is not the echo of a past, it is quite the contrary: by the glare of an image, the distant past resonates of echoes and we don’t see up to what deepness those echoes will be reflected and vanish.”
Harri De Ville is a duo project by Sabrina Harri (1979, Finland) and Alexia de Ville de Goyet (1982, Belgium).
First working with video performances, their research have lately evolved through sculpture and installation, defining an interdisciplinary language where abstraction and narrative elements merge.
The starting point of the collaboration was a live performance inspired by the text “Bildeschreibung” of the german writer Heiner Muller. The duo finds inspiration in philosophical literature. The Poetic of Space by the french philosopher Gaston Bachelard is an essential discovery for their future work. This essay treats about how the lived-in and human experience of architecture affects and shapes it’s development (even the development of dreams and memories). Harri de Ville starts using light, sound and video projections in their sculptures.
The central piece of the exhibition “Les Ombres sont deja des Murs” places the viewer at the center of a sculptural environment, escaping from the space of the gallery.
The viewer, dived into the dark, enters a tiny room revealing its deepness through a video projection. He discovers in the video an empty flat where only some furniture has been left behind. He goes deeper into that flat, and passing door after door he distinguishes a window, a wall, a cupboard, a lamp... The darkness takes away the possibility for him to understand the space fully. He looses his marks. Not moving, the viewer turns in circles though. This darkness is as the oblivion, left aside by the memory. The shadows projected onto the walls transforms the space of the gallery into an environment close to the dream and a mental claustrophobia. This piece is participating to the intimacy, the vertigo and the invasion of the space.
The drawings and the scale model sculpture that open the exhibition strength the theme of the experience of the space by their composition, their transparency and the fragility.
The esthetic positioning of Harri de Ville plays with the loss of orientation.
Stiffing, totalitary walls from which resonates further narrative fragments, suggesting an inside life that tends to fade away but never vanishes completely.

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Alexia de Ville de Goyet (1982) is a young Belgian artist, graduated form the ERG (Brussels). She lives and works in London.
Her practice is articulated mainly through video, but extends itself also to drawing, sculpture, installation and performance.
Her videos dive the viewer into reality and its different representations that influence our relation to the world around us. our everyday life is indeed invaded by a huge amount of information that interferes with our understanding of the world and constantly stimulates our subconscious. The systems of representation insidiously introduce in our life a slide into another dimension, closer to fantasy.
The issue of Identity, the formal research and the experimentation of the narrative codes are essential. Her texts gather most of the time generalities where personal stories and stolen sentences blend together. The loneliness of our modern society is always seen in her work as a fatality. This concern is the fulcrum of her research and lead in one way or another to the disappearance of the body. The characters are staged, outdistanced of their own speeches, passive and active at the same time. Narrative fictional film that imitates the documentary codes and where what is said is never what is given to be seen. We are inside the character’s thoughts, in his story, even if he remains fragile, transparent, almost nonexistent.
“The language is fascinating. We build it with words, no matter if they are placed the one next to the other, separated of not by comas, whether they tell or hide what we think, that we use formulas, proverbs, metaphors, if we misuse the grammar, if we don’t finish our sentences, the intention of construction is still always there.” Hide the Curse, her exhibition at the Jozsa Gallery, concerns the theme of construction/deconstruction.
The exhibition includes 2 videos in which we follow the path of a man on one hand and a woman on the other hand. A physical but also inner journey as the text goes through the memory of the characters. The construction as base and the deconstruction that follows, like an inevitable but natural ending after all.
It is also a running of the speech with Coloma where we struggle to follow the rhythm of the words declaimed in Spanish, the subtitles and the image. All this punctuated by black wholes that give us an impression of rest but also disturb our notion of time in the action.
The second video imitates the codes of documentary films. Michael tells us, without describing it though, the story of a trip that changed his life and conscience. If the text was here again written by the artist, she left a lot of freedom to the actor for him to appropriate it with his own ways and words. The hesitations of the actor, that silence that inevitably appears between his words and the calm of the camera movements tips us up between two realities: is it a true story or is it a fiction? This doubt takes hold of the viewer and makes him interpret the story at different levels of understanding.
“I come here again near the exploration of uncertainty in human experience: love, life, death, guilt,..”
The exhibition also includes drawings that concern the same theme, the construction (of sentences, characters, plots, but also spaces) and portray little heaps of stones or bricks, used as symbols of the words, accumulated here and there, and beyond which we can sometimes glimpse a precious stone or a diamond, in the rough or sharpened, that moves us, hurts us, but that never gets ruined or shattered.
The sculptures also take the shape of light and precious stones despite the emptiness that inhabits it. the diamond, symbol of eternal, here becomes fragile, desecrated by its reproduction in plastic tape or neon lights. By its size or by its accumulation, it is losing its unique value. The shape loses then its identity as precious object.


Break me a story is an exhibition showing the works of 2 feminine artists :Krista Autio (Finland, 1968) and Alexia de Ville de Goyet (Brussels, 1982). Both are using personal, intimate stories to put the accent on the loneliness in the modern society. For Krista Autio this loneliness is typical of the Finnish society whereas in Alexia de Ville de Goyet’s work it is seen as a fatality. This concern is central in their research and leads for both of them to a disappearance of the body, as in Krista Autio’s serial Les Femmes sont parties.
In her paintings as in the drawings exhibited here, Krista Autio interrogates the society itself. The ludic aspect of her self portraits avoids the moralizing position. After her last solo exhibition at the Jozsa Gallery, Krista decided to leave for a moment the big scale paintings to go back to the simplicity of drawing. The Finnish news led her to do some soul-searching. The Belgian and European medias in general, show Finland as the best educational model but on the other hand we heard about 2 tragic murders perpetrated by Finnish teenagers last year. It is clear for Krista Autio that the Finnish educational system is based on the competition between individuals, and this can only lead to a social dramas (eg : Fast & Happy and Best in Everything). Krista Autio felt like she had to go back to her groundings, using the simplicity and the spontaneity of the drawing (pencil).
In Alexia de Ville de Goyet’s videos, the formal research and the experimentation of the narrative codes are essentials. Natural Histories is a modulable video installation made of 4 short narratives. Those 4 narratives treat about our point of view on the world, our imagination and our dreams as a child or a teenager. They also ask questions of Identity, quest that we face through all the steps of our life. The medium itself is also a central point in Alexia’s work. The characters talk about the act of framing through the photo or the video camera, but also through the process of memory itself. The wonders of her different characters allows her to stage her own contradictions. Her work is partly autobiographical but avoids though the complain of the “I”.
In From the Unknown city, Alexia de Ville de Goyet points out the loss of our identity in the overwhelming of the images. The character would like to erase the past. She wants to have a pure, innocent look on the world around her. This purpose can also be related to the artist in general: what can we do ? Has everything already done ? To protect your mind, your eyes is a fantasy that takes the character into a utopian and contradictory process, active and passive at the same time. The Finnish language uses in the video places de character far away from the viewer, in a kind of no man’s land, whereas her fragility and the fact that she faces the camera makes us feel close to her. The language becomes a music, a tune where the shouts remain shouts but where the text makes us dive into her inner voice.


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ALEXIA DE VILLE DE GOYET (1982 Brussels, Belgium)

Lives and works in London

2007-2008 Double Award in Film & Video Production, LCC (London College of Communication), London
2007-2008 Post-Diploma Byam Shaw - Fine Arts, Central Saint Martins, London
2006-2007 Time and Space department - photography and video, Kuvataideakatemia, New Media, Helsinki
2003-2007 ERG (Ecole de Recherche Graphique), Narration - photography and video, Brussels


2007 Astral Chorus, Best narrative film, DIGITmedia festival, New York








Dubois, Colette. Les ombres sont déjà des murs, (H)Art Magazine, février 2011 /in .pdf

Interview Harri de Ville Wanderers of the Wasteland, Flux News, janv. fev. mars 2011, nr 54, pp 29 /in .pdf

GeronneZ, Alain Hide the Curse, Flux News, 2010, nr 53 /in .pdf

Laurent, Claude Hide the Curse, La Libre belgique, 5 février 2010 /in .pdf