THE QUAY BROTHERS THE BLACK DRAWINGS 1974 – 1977
CURFEWS, the Quay Brothers’ first exhibition at Tommy Simoens, presents a new and immersive diorama installation of 6 haunting ‘Peppers Ghost’ animations. The objects and animations in CURFEWS echo the Quay Brothers’ typical motifs and fascinations: trams, pylons, churches, pantographs and a choreographic use of calligraphy. With the title of the show the brothers invite the viewer on a night time excursion along with a series of enigmatic scenes.
The animations seem to trap their subjects in endless arrested scenarios. A ghostlike tram seems to be burning neverendingly, enigmatic figures keep turning around trying to find their way in the fog, a mysterious hat endlessly falls of the stairs of a dark cathedral. The ‘Peppers Ghost’ boxes are combined with a series of new sculptures and historic drawings. The sculptures are equally isolating recurrent themes and objects that have been around in the Quay universe since their debut film ‘Nocturna Artificialia’ from 1979. The two historic drawings, ‘Paysage Plus Loin Que Varsovie’ and ‘The Burroughs of Long Suffering’, both from the series ‘The Black Drawings’: pensilvania/ 1974 – 1977, are shown to the public for the first time.
Two of the world’s most original film makers, identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay have been creating their unique blend of puppetry and stop-motion animation for nearly 30 years and have spawned an enormous cult following. The Quays display a passion for detail, a breathtaking command of color and texture, and an uncanny use of focus and camera movement that make their films unique and instantly recognizable. Best known for their classic 1986 film ‘The Street of Crocodiles’, which film maker Terry Gilliam recently selected as one of the ten best animated films of all time, they are masters of miniaturization and have created on their tiny sets an unforgettable world, suggestive of a landscape of long-repressed childhood dreams.The Quay Brothers have produced over 45 moving image works, including two features, music videos, dance films, documentaries, and signature personal works.