After almost one and half centuries, the death mask of L’Inconnue de la Seine continues to fascinate us. The mysterious smile of this young, unknown woman, reported to have drowned in the Seine, now has a cult status. i c o n transfers this 19th-century myth to the context of contemporary visual culture and thereby gives rise to a universal story on beauty, transience and death.
i c o n is a hybrid mix of photoshoot, film set and concert. Portraits are taken live on stage and photo and video images are projected in a virtually instantaneous stream. This way the opera sheds light on how we relate to portraits of people in the 21st-century. Just as in Andy Warhol’s Factory events, the boundaries between artist and spectator become blurred. The icon becomes viewer, model becomes photographer, man becomes woman and victim in his turn becomes perpetrator.
In i c o n , Atelier Bildraum, Frederik Neyrinck and Sabryna Pierre create an all-round experience in which dream and reality are interchangeable.
i c o n undoubtedly succeeds, as promised, in referencing Warhol’s Factory (...). The projections are a splendid way of sustaining this continuous process, and the orchestra is an essential present absence.Tumult.fm
Quirijn van Regteren Altena