Robert Devriendt — A Voyeur’s Devotion



Robert Devriendt
A Voyeur’s Devotion

Past: December 7, 2012 → January 26, 2013

A Porsche Panamera frees itself from the loop pattern of the motorway and drives underneath the viaduct into the misty landscape. The driver zaps between the radio stations till a pulsating Arab beat resounds.

The toy cattle looks beautiful behind the fence. Deer, as if stuffed, stare in the direction of the sound of the approaching car. Some tar-coloured horses break into a gallop; at the same time a buzzard skims over the car. In the megalomaniac hangars monster machines are arrayed, once more ready this spring to spray everything with poison. Outside, there is only the sonorous humming of the motor and the wind that stumbles over the rear-view mirror.

As the mat black Panamera glides into a long tunnel of mutilated trees and bushes that reach up several metres, the dim light stretches a green cellophane over everything. The dark interior contrasts with the pale neck of a young woman. The texture of her blond hair seems reminiscent of the precision of a Flemish Primitive. The curved neckline of the anthracite cardigan adds even more grace to her neck. The hair is kept loosely together in a plait, which like a funny Tyrolean object reaches down to the discreet décolletage. A gold cross sticks to her skin, dangling from a cold, minimal, wafer-thin chain. Her hands rest on the steering wheel, fingers stretched, the gel nails finished with French Manicure—as they should be.

The dark suit, the black interior—everything seems to have come from the mind of the same designer, or at least from people who compulsively visit the same cities, the same bars… The design codes have been adapted flawlessly, even more relentlessly than during the arrogant seventies, with the neatly trimmed lawns and men in dark suits with paper-white legs.

When the motors of chain saws start in different places in the forest, the window of the car closes silently, accurately. The shadows that enter the car cast stains on her dress. The landscape is like a video screen that has been inserted into the front window. A mobile phone rings.

Written in elegant letters, the arch above the cast iron gate reads “Domaine d’Illusion”. The gate slides smoothly open, well-oiled, metal on metal. It is like a curtain in a theatre that slowly reveals the setting. An endless driveway appears with beech trees, oak trees and lush undergrowth. Birds abound. Some robins engage in mortal battle when a female strays in. But innocently, with stately slowness, the Panamera glides over the entryway. At a right angle to the direction of the entryway an aerodynamically streamlined plane cuts a deep groove into the blueness of the air—the sort of blue that suits the pink of flowering roses on postcards from days gone by. This is the place. The motor stops. Rhododendrons, several metres high, are blossoming. The purple dye bleeds from one bush into the other and colours even the deep shadows. From a bird’s eye view the dark car seems both menacing and vulnerable in the glade. Behind the car shapes and colours merge in the heat of the exhaust. A hand grasps for a silver purse; under her arm she clasps a pair of Louboutins. The handle of a knife protrudes from the purse.

The figure enters the forest. The nylon legs and shining heels contrast sharply with the leaves that crush under the heels. At once her movements push everything else into the background. Behind her, the green closes. Only an experienced forensic expert could deduce from the few broken stems and the small holes the heels have left behind that someone has entered the forest.

Now nothing can be heard, except the sound of the dying footsteps that seem to skilfully avoid all the plants and moist spots in the forest.

Robert Devriendt. Translation: Dirk Verbiest
  • Opening Thursday, December 6, 2012 at 6 PM
06 St Germain Zoom in 06 St Germain Zoom out

6, rue Jacques Callot

75006 Paris

T. 01 53 10 85 68 — F. 01 53 10 89 72


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM
Other times by appointment

Venue schedule

The artist