The Good Life (a guided tour)

Katleen Vermeir &
Ronny Heiremans &

The meeting of art and life has been the aspiration of various avant-garde art movements of the 20th century. Artists have been striving to remove the boundaries between art and life, so that people's creative powers might transform the world into a better place. Heiremans and Vermeir's video literalizes this concept by using ironic hyperbole.

In their video they posit a future scenario of an art institute trying to sell its bricks and mortar to be transformed into luxury apartments. A real estate agent leads a guided tour around a fictional art museum. The agent sprinkles her power talk with high-flown architectural vocabulary, out-of-context quotes from various artists and staple inspirational mottos from life-style magazines. In this dystopian inversion living the life-style of art means having a bedroom where Andy Warhol's painting once hung, and enjoying your morning croissant and coffee on a sun deck reminiscent of a Renaissance palazzo.

In spite of its fictitious nature, Heiremans and Vermeir's scenario produces the uncanny effect of something that could almost be plausible. In the inescapable interplay of artistic institutions and commerce, does business really recognize the value of culture? Or is its engagement with arts simply a two-faced ploy to generate greater financial profits? (Olena Chervonik)

About the video

Title The Good Life (a guided tour)
Year 2009
Videonale VIDEONALE.13
Length 00:16:00
Format 4:3
Country Belgium,
Language English
Courtesy the artists
Specifications color, sound, single-channel video

About the artists

Katleen Vermeir
  • 1973 in Bornem, BEL.
    Studied at the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, BEL, and at the Hogeschool voor Wetenschap en Kunst, St.-Lukas, Ghent, BEL
Ronny Heiremans
  • 1962 Heist-op-den-Berg, BEL.
    Studied at the BEMIS, Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, USA, at the Academia Belgica, Rome, ITA, and at the Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp, BEL