The Salamander Complex
Stéphane Manchematin & Serge Steyer
France / 2015 / 80 min
Fri 6 May, 22.15
Dutch premiere. With an introduction by Jan-Willem Groenendaal of Galerie de Zaal.
The French artist Patrick Neu lives in a remote island village to the north of the Vosges, far from all of the central focal points of the art world. He creates his pieces slowly, with the patience and precision inherited from Flemish artists.
He works with materials not often found in the world of art: bee wings, soot on glass, ink sculpture, butterfly wings, shed snakeskin, eggshells, painting on ashes… From a recollection of Jheronimus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights in smoke on glass to a mask made of bee wings, Neu’s stunning works border the ephemeral and reflect the artist’s strive for perfection.
One day, the director of the prestigious Palais de Tokyo in Paris pays him a visit: after following his work for fifteen years, he wants to commission him with his first individual exhibition. Neu accepts, but on the condition that he will not have to change his methods in any way. The film follows him as he leaves the safety of his studio and prepares to produce his exhibition in Paris.
Punto de Vista Grand Prize Nominee - International Documentary Film Festival of Navarra Punto de Vista 2015
Special Jury Prize - Festival International du Film Nancy-Lorraine 2015
About the director
Stéphane Manchematin has edited, written and directed documentaries for public service channels (France 3, France 5, Arte) and radio (France Culture) for twenty years. His documentaries are about two main themes: social issues and art. He teaches cinema and audio-visual education at the Université de Lorraine.
“Un artiste de l’éphémère, évoqué avec une force rare”