Au quart de tour

Still from Au quart de tour (2004) by Antonin De Bemels
© Antonin De Bemels, courtesy the artist

Brussels video artist Antonin de Bemels’s digital video Au quart de tour (2004) centers on the concept of motionless motion.[1] Bemels almost always draws on a digital effect or software feature as the point of departure for his video work. The effect that inspired Au quart de tour is the stroboscope, which allows the filmmaker to compose sequences frame by frame. On the basis of this effect, a series of simple gestures by dancer Bruno Marin are first deconstructed and then reassembled in a cinematic montage. The resulting succession of varying bodily stances leads to a polyscopic depiction of the human form – a kind of cubist dance that conforms to the cubist principle of multiple perspectives.[2] The dance itself is an authentically cinematic creation, for the impression of movement is fashioned entirely through the montage of the single frames. The filmic sequences are synchronized with the progressively persistent and loud multilayered beats of the music of Rob(u)rang. At the same time, the camera focuses more intently on the dancer’s face. Initially, most of his body is shown in profile, then only his face is shot from the front. The intensity of his gaze becomes greater until, finally, his eyes appear to float as a separate entity in front of him. The video sequences are edited so as to correspond alternately to one or more of the rhythmic strands of the music, adding a further element of multilayered alternation to the flashing rhythms and image sequences. The rhythmic structure of the music complements the cubist structure of the video dance. Concentrated viewing draws the viewer into the rhythm of the musical and visual alternation, so that by the end of the work the effect is felt on one’s own vision – the viewer’s eyes are dancing along with the video.

See, accessed on April 12, 2009.  


  • original Title: Au quart de tour
  • Date: 2004 –
  • Duration: 7′
  • Genre: Dance film

format: DV