Baltasar Thomas

  • I could have been a dancer

    In November 2014, I was commissioned by dance company Ultima Vez to make a teaser trailer for a show called ‘Tornar’ by performer/choreographer Seppe Baeyens. During this project, I became interested in finding the balance between being a spectator and being a participant. When I’m filming something or someone, I often feel a sort of tension, caused by the fact that my role is ambiguous. I am a spectator/voyeur – yet, at the same time, my presence shapes the event taking place. The camera becomes part of the performance.

    ‘I could have been a dancer’ – HD video, 8’56, 2016’HD video, 8’56, 2016

    I also learned that the way I perceive the things unfolding before my eyes, can be transformed by these very things themselves. And this evolving perception can in turn affect how I handle the camera. Evidently, when one favours this way of ‘working by instinct’, it means taking a lot of risks, aesthetically. In 2015, I used images shot for the Tornar teaser to make a short autobiographical film called I could have been a dancer. In this film, I extended the idea of the ‘camera as performer’ to my approach in editing.

    The function of editing is setting the rules of space and time for the world I’m creating. By exposing the processes of editing (selecting, categorizing and placing frames next to one another or on top of one another), form becomes content.

  • Close Encounters

    I could say that ‘Close Encounters’ followed from the following assignment I gave myself:

    Mark the beginning (A) of a ritual/paradigm/world.
    Mark its ending (B).

    Walk from A to B.
    What do you see?

    Do its inhabitants greet you with open arms? Or do they approach with caution or even, suspicion? The answer is often: both. Your mission is to observe, and so you observe. Yet for some reason, you feel that you’ve failed. You feel alienated. The act of marking point A and point B has rendered you unable to focus on anything other than point A and point B.

    ‘Close Encounters’ – single screen video-installation, no sound, 34’15 loop, 2016

    Return home, gather your thoughts.
    What to do next?

    Return to said ritual/paradigm/world (repeat).

    Start at the ending (B) and walk toward the beginning (A).
    Only this time, walk slower.

    Return home, gather your thoughts (rinse).


    Rinse and Repeat.
    Rinse and Repeat.

    Something might catch your eye, as the outlining of said world (marked by point A and B) starts to fade.