Ana Torfs, 2008

Ana Torfs was born in Belgium in 1963. Her work consists of various installations with slide projections, photo series, a web project, a feature film, several publications etc. Torfs has dealt, among others, with questions such as perception, representation and the construction of images and identity. She has also focused on the tension between text and image, between reading and visualising and – in a larger sense – between the fabricated and the real.

Existing texts are often used as a starting point, for example the conversation books of a famous composer turned deaf in her feature film ZYKLUS VON KLEINIGKEITEN [Cycle of Trifles], the records of Joan of Arc’s 15th century trial in her installation with slide projections DU MENTIR-FAUX [About Lying Falsehood], Hanns Eisler’s songs about exile in her web project APPROXIMATIONS/CONTRADICTIONS, a play from 1890 in her installation with slide projections THE INTRUDER, etc. Though Torfs didn’t write these texts herself – they are ‘objets trouvés’ (found objects) – she sculpts them into a new and concise configuration, a process that is just as slow and intense.

During her Production-in-Residence at BAC, Ana took the film Journey to Italy (1954) by Robert Rossellini as her starting point. The film narrates a martial crisis in the form of a road movie. Torfs pays tribute to Journey to Italy by carefully deconstructing it and ‘displacing’ it to remote Gotland: just as the Naples region is the real star of Rossellini’s movie, the Scandinavian island takes the principal role in Displacement. And just as it does with Rossellini, travel serves as a metaphor for a different journey of discovery.

Displacement will be presented for the first time in early 2010 on the occasion of Torfs’ solo exhibition at K21, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Düsseldorf.

More information about Ana and a text about Displacement by Catherine Robberechts can be found on

Ana Torfs was invited to the BAC Production-in-Residence program by the 2006/7 jury; Lynne Cooke, Friedrich Meschede and Åsa Nacking.