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Stef Renard

The Groupies

‘The Groupies’ is a video work that was inspired by an equally named atypical record that came out in 1969. Alan Lorber placed groupies from the sixties in a recording studio and interviewed them about their experiences and feelings on being a groupie. The 'groupies' were a horde of girls who followed their favorite rockstars during their long tours and also entered into intimate relationships with them. Enriched by the sexual revolution of the 60s they made extensive use of their new acquired freedom. It is clear that the role they assume in this relationship with their stars is certainly not always one of freedom.

The interviews on the record amount for the entire audio part of the video work. The visual part of the video consist of a boy and a girl that each take up one of the sides of the record. They in turn walk and hang around at a bandstand, named ‘kiosk’ in dutch. These structures spread over many villages in Belgium serving as a large open music tent on a square or in a park. On the other hand, they often fulfill their purpose as a place for youth to hang out. The specific bandstand that I have chosen has a very peculiar but beautiful architecture. It’s built as if the concrete pillars that carry the roof are made of trees. This romantic stone construction gives a very specific dreamy atmosphere to the location, that is also surrounded by real trees.

The video is made up of fragments of the boy and girl that walk or hang around on the bandstand. The duration, which is tied to the length of the record (+ -28 min), partly determined a slow cinematic visual play of images. The little actions the boy and girl undertake are shot with slow traveling shots and focussed close ups. Scanning the environment and the two teenagers in detail. Building up a dreamy visual play, part by part, of them wandering around in a ruin like setting.

Stef Renard

The Groupies

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