XXL Dreams  5 – 21 May 2023

Laak presents its first exhibition, curated by wysiwyg & Home Cinema, featuring a narrative of twenty-three carefully selected time-based works from May 5th to May 21st, 2023. The exhibition explores the concept of dreams, as cinematic manifestations. Dreams create mysterious juxtapositions of subjects, objects, and places, they generate multiple selves, and offer landscapes of possibilities. The architecture of the dream allows the past, present, and future to intersect in a different time and space. XXL Dreams will feature a different program each weekend, with a unique screening set-up, and each film will be part of one program only.
XXL Dreams is supported by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie.

Week 1

  • Pam Virada
    Delirious Dream (2019)
    Netherlands/Thailand; duration: 0:01:00
    The magpie is one of the most intelligent non-human species, able to distinguish themselves from their reflections. In many cultures, they are linked to superstitions, with the rhyme “One for the Sorrow” that illustrates how their appearances can be a form of fortune-telling. Via the embodiment of the magpie as an allegorical notion to shift away from the human-centered perspective, the film aims to create speculations of possible futures through the eyes of the magpie as a prophet—seer—diviner, reinforced by its mythical qualities retold in folklores and legends.
  • Giovanni Giaretta
    Ruin of a Fiction (2019)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:09:55
    The video is an investigation into the archeology of obsolete special effects. It is set in an artificial world inspired by science fiction low budget movies, cult TV series, and Hollywood classics from the 70s and 80s. The consolidated visual metaphor of the cave is used in order to make the viewer transition between two realities. Once on the other side, we meet a fictional character, an old talking rock that lives in a cavern. The rock is musing on all the films seen and that have shaped its own memories.
  • Cóilín O'Connell and Michelle Doyle
    Super Gairdín (2022)
    Ireland; duration: 0:24:29
    Super Gairdín is a new video work by artists Cóilín O’Connell and Michelle Doyle about divine spirits, landscape, language and nature. Taking cues from the folk horror tradition, the film is set in a desolate garden centre, a space where landscape is held indefinitely. A figure wanders the aisles of saplings, chancing upon a long forgotten rock deity; the Cailleach. The Cailleach is capable of great forces, summoning nature at will and throwing rocks from her apron. She views mankind with hatred and will soon enact her revenge.
    Cóilín: Instagram Website Michelle: Instagram Website
  • Giulia Jimenez
    Cataratas (2019)
    USA; duration: 0:07:05
    In a newborn volcanic island, a sulfur miner is offered something better for his attention.
  • Joachim Schoones
    7000-8000 (2018)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:01:07
    A drive and a conversation
  • Anna Tamm
    Still Here (2022)
    Netherlands, duration: 0:02:50
    The film drifts through a dystopian landscape where past and present breathe in sync, showing a stretch in time induced by a traumatic memory.
  • Rustan Söderling
    Grimshader (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:16:57
    Grimshader follows the inner monologue of an unnamed protagonist, sent by his boss Bruce Carmichael on a night-time drive with an unknown destination. Is he supposed to get a takeaway from Fusion Takeaway, the local Chinese restaurant in Stornoway? At this time of night? Or is something more nefarious going on? Is it somehow related to the ongoing investigation by Grimshader internal inquires? The dreamlike journey gradually grows more surreal and dreamlike before it reaches an abrupt end.
  • Clàudia del Barrio
    GRWM (2022)
    Spain; duration: 0:15:24
    "Prosumers consume and produce simultaneously, while social networks store hours of content. This content commercializes our life experiences in the virtual world, turning them into popular culture, which feeds and leads us to spend part of our daily time on our virtual presence. GRWM (get ready with me) shows influencers sharing their first moments of the day. These videos have become virtual spaces where intimate moments, which may involve important subjects such as mental health, are also shared. By delving into these spaces, GRWM reflects on the banalisation of sensitive content."

Week 2

  • Collette Rayner
    The Horizon Plays Itself Back Into Being (2019)
    Netherlands, Scotland; duration: 0:05:55
    Rayner utilizes labour-intensive, hand-drawn stop-motion animations, utilising the methodology of animating to construct fictional narratives to approximate a sense of reality. The works move tonally towards soft-core science fiction, in pursuit of a state of weirdness: a disconnection of understanding coupled with stabilizing scenarios, the artist attempts to visually preview scenarios in order to do the future self a ‘solid’ by predicting obstacles and self-fulfilling cycles. The work looks through an un-reality to something that is close to an anxiousness about the future.
  • Feline Hjermind
    Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:07:57
    ‘Silence lay steadily against the wood and stone’ is an uncanny composition of familiar settings; transporting you from dusty attics to ornate wedding venues and beyond. By animating vacant spaces, Hjermind turns backgrounds into main characters. The video questions how architectural structures can have personalities and how interiors might demand a certain behaviour. It brings to mind both surveillance footage and landscape paintings. The viewer is invited to linger in liminal space, while experiencing the hierarchy between spectator, space and screen slowly dissolving. Who is watching whom?
  • Sam Keogh
    ‘If you are reading this, get ready to meet me in your dream TONIGHT’ (2021)
    Ireland; duration: 0:06:52
    The film was an attempt to translate the direct address of live performance to a lock-down art TV format. It was effective, in that 14 people contacted me after watching to tell me I had appeared in their dream. If a performance can be thought of as an act of appearing to an audience, then this film can be thought of as a tool which facilitates a performance.
  • Roberto Romano
    Abc12 (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:13:00
    ABC12 is a 3D animated short film about the journey of the self into the different shapes and forms of simulation. The narrative evolves as a visual representation of the author’s poems, therefore it is enacted, choreographed, and imagined. It is some kind of interdimensional diary breaking the constraints of time and language towards the inner mystery of the synthetic self.
  • Marnix van Uum
    Beep (Piep) Beep (Piep) Buzz (Zoem) Beep (Piep) Buzz (Zoem) (2020 - 2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:19:28
    Beep (Piep) Beep (Piep) Buzz (Zoem) Beep (Piep) Buzz (Zoem) is a long-term project in which I - through the use of physical actions and interventions - let the narrative qualities of both the desire for knowledge and the urge to maintain ignorance influence the course of the video. During the production I focus on what forms the basis of my artistic practice, namely the interplay between my personal development and its narrative character and that what an artistic practice could be, based on (art) historical notions such as traditions and thus sharing a similar narrative nature.
  • Leith Benkhedda
    The Internet of Friends (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:21:38
    The Internet of Friends is a film exploring online identity and community formation through a collection of short stories, testimonies, and autofictions
  • Thomas Vancoppenolle
    Meditation On A Landscape (2022)
    Belgium; duration: 0:30:00
    'Meditation On A Landscape' is a video work that reflects on the inherent qualities of a landscape, and how they interact with us in different emotional ways as we move through and past them. Inspired by a personal journey across several borders, along rivers and mountains, in search of a sense of tranquility and a clearer view of self, the work came together as a fluid organism made of sound and image. An organism consisting of short natural impressions, constantly transforming themselves into something new, somewhere between abstraction and figuration. A work about holding on and letting go.
  • Mauricio Freyre
    Interspecies Architecture
    Peru, Taiwan, Spain; duration: 0:12:41
    A journey in the forest near Taipei without a certain destination, a nomadic speculation on relationships and processes that occur among species and dimensions beyond the human.

Week 3

  • Anna Theunissen
    Iza Noticing Something (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:03:31
    How do you visualise present day alienation of social encounters and the longing to connect? Everyone has their story they wanna share and tell. This is a street scene video collage made with my neighbor's, colleagues and housemates, all of them notice something outside of the frame but not each other. This scene is made to make a space with people come together. Since everyone in the video stares at something outside of the frame, they respond on their surrounding and the people watching the video.
  • Manuel Boden
    Cabinets (2019)
    Germany; duration: 0:25:26
    The video is an investigation into the archeology of obsolete special effects. It is set in an artificial world inspired by science fiction low budget movies, cult TV series, and Hollywood classics from the 70s and 80s. The consolidated visual metaphor of the cave is used in order to make the viewer transition between two realities. Once on the other side, we meet a fictional character, an old talking rock that lives in a cavern. The rock is musing on all the films seen and that have shaped its own memories.
    Losing My Religion (2021)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:04:26
    Losing My Religion is a collaboration project between BITSRAY and PHRAME, the Dutch electronic-pop band. This is a music video for PHRAME'S cover- Losing My Religion, initially written by R.E.M. By making this music video, Losing My Religion, the director aimed to use the alien angle, the mobility device she makes for her backpack, to explore the relationship between her birthplace and herself- love, distancing, dazed, dread, and concealment. BITSRAY seeks a form that she could be free to respond to create a visual dialogue with the preset monitoring system.
  • Dylan Spencer-Davidson
    Affective Dynamics Study Group (2020)
    Germany; duration: 0:09:00
    Affective Dynamics Study Group is a collective devoted to 'study' in the Motenian sense, examining issues around interpersonal relations, non-violent communication, vulnerability, complicity and new ways of being and living together. Part consciousness-raising experiential group, part never-ending rehearsal, the collective meets to perform a series of experimental exercises together, borrowed from the fields of somatics, group therapy, activism, and movement practices. The video is based on footage from the study session and interviews with the participants.
  • Verena Blok
    Out Lookers (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:07:26
    In “Out Lookers” (2022), Verena Blok portrays older women who reclaim their space in public. Witnessing these women age while she herself was maturing into womanhood, the dominant Western discourse privileging youthful femininity rendered them slowly invisible. The elderly women in this film, anonymous and unnoticeable, are made present by assuming dark shades of sunglasses that filter their gaze. As such, they become commentators on the meaning of womanhood through time. The film uses snippets of candid conversation between the artist and the women — the artist’s mother and mother’s friends — about the transitional nature of femininity. At times they speak through and around a book they love, Olga Tokarczuk's “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” (2009), a bleakly comic mystery novel about a post-menopausal woman who raises fierce questions about human behavior.
  • Helena Roig
    two way (2022)
    Netherlands; duration: 0:14:00
    A two way (2021) is a body of work made in dialogue. Questioning power relations generated around and dictated by the camera, Helena Roig Prats (ES/NL) and Moon Baby (ES/NL) expose their experience as sex workers while creating content for Moon Baby’s OnlyFan account. How do we reflect our intimate selves in a camera transmitted to others?
  • Giulio Squillacciotti
    The Dispute (2021)
    Italy; duration: 00:01:15
    The mood of the film is that of a bare theatrical representation that lives only on its characters. A daily street verbal brawl is portrayed in a performative act with no beginning nor end. Seems like somebody is about to fight, but they never get to that, or are they? The scene takes place somewhere for a whatever reason, in a cycled loop of gestures and expressions. Some are watching, some others take pictures, while a woman tries to calm the clash down.