The Bokrijk Open-Air Museum has inspired me from a very early age and I can honestly say that I have never questioned that. When I was just six years old, during a school trip I was at the forge, full of dreams. Bokrijk is a place that encourages you to work with what is available. The power of that restriction is also the common thread in everything that I create, devise or build.
The first impression of Bokrijk is Bruegelian and that is no coincidence. But something that is truly crazy is that the museum itself is a collage of heritage and landscapes, which is also the case in Bruegel’s landscapes. I wanted to show this in a way that is accessible to everyone, with a reflection of our own everyday lives. A kind of contemporary window that visitors can step into, which brings you closer naturally to Bruegel’s universal take on the world. It started with a simple photoshop collage and ended two years later in an VFX studio in Brussels. During the process of creation, the numerous fantastic partnerships took me to Vienna, Italy, Rotterdam and Antwerp. Anyone who wants to look for it, will find every element of the collage in the Open-Air Museum. For example, even the controversial Oude Stad (Old Town) finally found a home. As if it was always meant to be.
As part of the collaboration with the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, our contemporary approach did not go unnoticed. The question then came from Prof. Dr Manfred Sellink and the team of curators whether we could set to work on the missing panel, The Spring from Bruegel’s seasons series of paintings. We then actually started all over again. By rearranging the five panels that still existed, I discovered a flowing panorama in which we were able to compose the missing ‘Spring’. That became a digital installation, with a window which visitors can step into, turn left or right and wander through Bruegel’s original seasons. What appears at first glance to be a static scene, comes to life after observing the scene for some time. After viewing the cosmic whole, and particularly the creative process, visitors may look at the same Bokrijk with a fresh pair of eyes. Or at their own world with a different perspective. I would like to say to Pieter Bruegel: “Can you forgive me?”, but especially: “Thank you: my view of the world will never be the same again.”
Frits Jeuris – The Lost Season 2016 -2018
Production manager: Kris Gaens
Post-production manager: Wim de Rick
Production: Jan Dircx, Auke De Clerck, Gert Sels, Koen Freson
Camera: Steven Elisabeth
Editing: Jonas Vanseveren
Direction: Jolan Copermans
Photography: Luc Daelemans
VFX: Annelies Vaes, Tim Trenson, Robin Sinnaeve
Grading: Pieter-Jan Uvyn
Supervision of extras: Laurie van der Donck
Extras: Erwin Slegers, Arne Timmers, Lena Van der Borght, Luc Baute, Willy Vancluysen, Hilaire Erckens, Bob Proost, Marc Lenaerts, Andrea Nardozza , Frauke Vandecan, Floran Vandecan , Lena Vaelen, Gus Vaelen, Johan Vaelen, Thor Jeuris, Norah Jeuris, Max Steele, Ella Steele, Mathieu van Esser, Maarten Celis, Simca, Tanja Jordens.
Prof. Dr Manfred Sellink, Dr Katrien Lichtert,
The team of curators at the Bruegel Exhibition in the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History), Vienna.
Curator Bart Lens for his unconditional trust.
Wim and Kris.
The Lost Season © Frits Jeuris 2018 commissioned by the non-profit making organisation Het Domein Bokrijk (Domain Bokrijk).
“layer by layer, through the universal view of Bruegel, you come back to the present, and you find yourself.”