It was Jean Cocteau who said, "For many people, style is a complicated way of saying simple things. For me, it is a simple way of saying complicated things." For Cocteau, style was the means by which he could make clear the ideas and themes of his work. Considered a Surrealist, he knew that the clearest images, those based on a precise conception of reality, could create a world for the viewer that was rich in meaning. Through style, a balance would be achieved between the events that were witnessed and their various interpretations.
At first, the project of Koen and Frank Theys to do a video adaptation of Wagner's Ring Cycle sounds Incredibly complicated. After winning an award for the best tape at the Locarno Video Festival in 1984, the two brothers started work on The Rhinegold, the first part of their projected series. Now, three years later, they have completed the second part, entitled The Valkyrie. After running for a month at the American Museum for the Moving Image in New York, its premiere is scheduled for Brussels this month.
The Theys have used Wagner's monumental opera to create a work of startling originality. Through video's ability to manufacture and manipulate electronic images, they have translated the opera's mythic symbols into contemporary language. In effect, they have produced two 90·minute music videos.
Koen Theys says that "opera as a whole does not interest me. I approach it from the viewpoint of the plastic arts”.
Michael Tarrantino - THE BULLETIN