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Frank Theys: text & publications

Frank Theys is fascinated by the psychology needed tot preserve the own subjectivity in a postmodern world that is leveled out by money and mass media.  He confronts this investigation with many personal reflections: about the relationship between art and technology, about television in which all cultural diversity is ignored ; about the degeneration of man and nature and the possible technological solutions and alternatives.  In this respect Frank Theys studies the utopian ideas of philosophers and scientists.  His findings result in installations and as of 1992 in the writing and directing of theater plays.  In order to shape these visions Frank Theys creates separate psychological worlds (spaces) inhabited by figures who are carrying a number of connotations that refer to the various psychological characters and situations.  He does so by means of electronic media, animated objects and characters who are communicating with each other in a technical jargon.
According to Frank Theys television functions as a person who has lost its. It keeps repeating everything and is nothing itself.  In modern society the danger of finding oneself in such a situation is very real as the omission of the set values (the center) is continually urging the individual to give meaning of life himself.

By combining technological objects and actors of flesh and blood Frank Theys involves the spectator in his fascination with the idea that man can enlarge his bodily capacities and his grip on the environment partly by technological interventions.  In the nineties a new telecommunication network was developed, Internet, which can directly transfer information from one hard disk to another.  It is expected that at the end of the 20th century this medium will still know an important evolution.  The Internet user is both emitter and receiver, he can immediately respond to and use the received information.  Frank Theys foresees that in the third millennium the position of art and his author will be questioned again.  Maybe even in so far that the receiver will give a devastating reply to the artistic image that is spread via Internet by completely overwriting  it with another creation.

In the exhibition Frank Theys shows a video film of a tenderly kissing couple, realized with MR scan.  Eros and Thanatos , love and death, have always been closely connected in art-history, especially in Romanticism.  The Kiss of Death is such an example.  They says that the kiss is always somewhat morbid because it confronts us with our flesh.  According to him the romantic and passionate kiss of the Hollywood films of the fifties is no longer possible ; the image of the kiss as a symbol of the mysterious, romantic love is over.  The advanced technology of postmodern society has revealed all that used to be hidden under skin or hair and has defiled and perverted nature as well as romantic feelings.(sic Greta Van Broeckhoven)

Another work in the show, the SOAPMACHINE I (The Island of Dr. Moreau) is the first in a series of projects of making drama in an ‘as productive as possible’ way.  It is not an interactive installation were the viewer changes the story as he wishes.  Though the story is influenced by him, active or passive.  The viewer becomes involved in the story or is excluded. (2000)