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Theys Koen

1963 - brussels

The Belgian visual artist Koen Theys is an important pioneer of contemporary video art in Belgium. In 1989, he and his brother Frank Theys are also the driving force behind the creation of ARGOS, the center for new media art in Brussels, which has since grown into an internationally renowned platform for video art and new media. During his sculpting studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, in the early 1980s, the young visual artist's attention shifted more and more to the audiovisual media, which resulted in the shocking video installation Crime 01 in 1983. Here we see how the artist chops up a dead German Shepherd dog with an ax and presents the dog's limbs to a baby in a bed. The as yet unknown film maker is promptly dismissed from the Academy, but the montage marks the start of a bold and idiosyncratic body of work that zooms in on the most striking and diverse remnants of the broad cultural spectrum. In addition to video installations, the artist also creates monumental visual work, sculptures and photo collages, and performs. At the same time he teaches autonomous video art at the Sint Lucas Hogeschool in Antwerp, a department that he started in 2004.


Theys Koen - Chateau Classic

1994 - Black and white photograph - 31 x 58 cm

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