Filip Van Dingenen

Filip Van Dingenen (1975) is fascinated by the tension between reality and fiction. As a student in Jan Carlier's mixed-media studio he created the fictional character of Billy Bluebird who, together with King Fatso (pseudonym of Jethro Volders), supposedly supervised the centre for visual arts in Hasselt for a while. This same Billy Bluebird was also presented in videos, advertisements and performances.

Indeed he even sold trips to Utopia at a travel agency in Leuven, which were in fact an invitation to set out on a mental journey in one's own imagination. Like Disney World or Las Vegas, animal parks also occupy the no man's land between dream and reality. They reflect the desire for a utopia, an unspoilt paradise. The zoo embodies the paradox of an artificial world of nature. However realistically the animal's original biotope may be simulated, it remains a hyperrealistic imitation, an illusion-ary sham that is based on a set of ideological assumptions.

Filip Van Dingenen used the clo-sing of the local zoo in Zwartberg as the starting point for a complex artistic research project with offshoots in scientific disciplines such as biology, sociology and history.* Under the name Zoonation he is collecting as much information as possible about the former zoo. He has interviewed all those involved and followed the animals to their new homes in zoos and safari parks all over the world.

This has resulted in an amalgam of photos, drawings, charts and texts which are made accessible by means of presentations and a website developed during the artist's stay in the RealWorld workshop at FLAC©. The aim is to finally bring these documents together in a publication that will illuminate the 'zoo' phenomenon and traditional travelogues from many different angles. - Peter Pollers

* Tom Nys, 'Met Filip Van Dingenen op expeditie. Reizen om te creëren' in Gonzo Circus, no. 55, February-March 2003, pp. 46-49.


Filip Van Dingenen - Life on Earth Souvenirs 02
Filip Van Dingenen - Life on Earth Souvenirs 03
Filip Van Dingenen - Life on Earth Souvenirs 01


13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
13.02 to 01.05.2005
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