press release

With The Suspension of Disbelief, Z33 has invited the artist duo Sarah & Charles for a first major solo exhibition. Their all-encompassing project, which includes several installations and two short films, takes the visitor into a world filled with paradoxes, somewhere between fiction and reality. The exhibition runs from June 30th until October 13th 2013.

Sarah & Charles derive their imagery from the worlds of film, theatre and the visual arts. They take inspiration from the cinema, refer to a variety of narrative techniques, play with illusion and theatricality – incorporating references to both 'in front' and 'behind the scenes', the world of dance, installation art and the exhibition machine as such. These aspects of multi or interdisciplinarity, combined with a multifaceted and playful approach to various models of presentation, contribute in a significant way to the research conducted in recent years at Z33 on the practice and methodology of the exhibition, such as in the exhibitions of Philip Metten, Kris Verdonck and Åbäke.

'Their work is fully aligned with the vision of Z33.' Jan Boelen, artistic director of Z33 states. 'By initiating projects that are anchored in society and/or manage to expose aspects of social friction, Z33 centres not on conditions of normality, but rather on divergence. This is also what typifies the approach of Sarah & Charles: the game that unfolds throughout their oeuvre brings the viewer to the edge between the real and the unreal. Through their created imagery, they manipulate the understanding, the experience and the (dis)belief of the viewer. They establish an interplay with the personal experience of the viewer, make demands on their imagination and question the knowability of reality. Through the work of Sarah & Charles, Z33 offers visitors a very different perspective on everyday reality'.

The Suspension of Disbelief

The Suspension of Disbelief, the exhibition of Sarah & Charles at Z33, functions as an all-encompassing cinematic or theatrical experience. Upon entering the exhibition, the visitor is taken into a world of contradictions: fact versus fiction, finished versus unfinished, front versus backstage. What is real and what is not? Is this work finished, or is it still being set up? Am I in front or behind the scenes? Where does the exhibition end and the scenography begin?

The exhibition reveals a continuous use of narrative techniques and references to a wide variety of cinematic and theatrical elements. Visitors are confronted with a blinding light installation, a large silver curtain, abstract theatre props, descriptions of sound effects... In the last work in the exhibition, Props for Drama: Suspension of Disbelief, all these elements are ultimately brought together into one narrative whole. A surreal musical film, presented against an abstracted background typical of the genre, draws the viewer into a 'story within a story', filled with impossible events. This short film, which exudes an atmosphere that is entirely at odds with The Suspension of Disbelief as a whole, is the masterpiece of this exhibition.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue.

Sarah & Charles
The Suspension of Disbelief

Sarah & Charles  (Charles Blondeel, Sarah Deboosere)