Raoul Servais, one of his teachers, called Bogaert’s work "An example of the crossroads between cinematography and the art of painting; not as moving paintings, but rather a painted movement".
The stills Thomas Bogaert initially shows are from super-8 shoots made during trips to far away places. He mounts the still on various film bases, pours resin over it which then becomes the image. These images are simple scenes filmed on Miami Beach, at the Côte d’Azur or on an ice rink in New York’s Central Park. Due to the simple actions and events, they are analyses of movement in time. In the late 90s, he created work on ‘téléphériques’, recordings of and from booths, projected onto various backdrops. He won the 2002 prize of the Ghent Kunstsalon (Art Salon) and showed several film projections during the ‘Nacht van de Experimentele Film’ (‘Experimental Film Night’) at the Caermersklooster. The S.M.A.K. will show ‘The Superfast Series’, a double projection of shootings Bogaert made of Matchbox cars. In his pictures, the cars are like tiny time machines: they drive towards us against the light, as if they are coming from the past. Because of the blinding light, we cannot see from where they have come, and suddenly they are there, super fast. They drive into view from the imagination, but cannot be grasped in the present. The specific nature of the super-8 recordings (colour, grain, scratches, impurities and a shaky picture) play a major role here and makes the images feel like they come from an era that is definitely over. For the film’s soundtrack, Bogaert cooperated with Andrew White from London, updating an existing musical recording. The sound strengthens the power of the image.
At the same time, in the staircases next to the entrance to the exhibition area, two enlargements of the undercarriage of the cars will be on display. It seems as if the car has overturned, gone off the road. The enlargement, neutral background and sharp shadows make it seem strange. The cars concerned are mythical: a Ford GT40, Lotus, Lincoln or Mercory Cougar, of which we can only see the undercarriage. The scale feels odd too due to the enlargement of a miniature. Those who play with these toy cars imagine they are on the racetrack of Monaco or Daytona or in a Michel Vaillant book. The reality the scale model dictates is that of a small world, enlarged and fleshed out through the imagination. On the undercarriage, we only see the car’s make, type and year of production, as well as a short text we apparently failed to see before. Some of these secret messages read: ‘Change your mind’, ‘Driven by jealousy’, ‘Accidents will happen’ or ‘Car sex’. The toy with which we innocently lived out our fantasies has an apparently obscene underside, as if it contains predictions for the years to come.More about Thomas Bogaert