Sarah & Charles – Props for Drama:
Suspension of Disbelief, 2013


Sarah & Charles

Props for drama: suspension of disbelief, 2013 

Single channel video, Full HD, colour, sound, 14′:07″

Courtesy of the artists


Join us for an amazing short film by Belgian artist duo Sarah & Charles, titled Props for Drama: Suspension of Disbelief. In a colorful musical film, set against a surreal background typical of the genre, we follow a girl trough the different chapters of her life; from a young child, towards an adolescent woman. In a staged world she enticingly sings about her own state of mind. The enchantment is brutally interrupted when the set and the camera crew become unexpectedly visible. The film draws the viewer into a story within a story, lead on by an exhilarating soundtrack, trough a world filled with impossible events.


Sarah & Charles started the series Props for Drama in 2009. In the following 4 years, this became a comprehensive project with several installations and two short films, culminating in this very film.  The term suspension of disbelief refers to the viewer’s willingness to accept the presented narrative as “real”, within the set boundaries of the fiction. This allows the viewer to identify with the story and empathize with its characters. The imagery derives from film as well as theater and the visual arts, playing with the conventions of all of these, luring the viewer in a world of contradictions: fact versus fiction, finished versus unfinished, front- versus backstage.


In her text The sef-reflexive illusion in the work of Sarah & Charles curator Laurence Dujardyn writes: “For this short film, the artists took inspiration from the Hollywood adaptations of Broadway musicals that emerges in the late 1920’s, after the disillusionment of Word War I and the Great Depression. Delving into the genre, the artists discovered that the musical film has a lot in common with their own artistic practice. The film can be seen as the genre par excellence in which fiction, used in the creation of reality, is simultaneously established and invalidated. (…) The story apparently centers on a girl coming of age, yet the plot is promptly invalidated when it becomes clear that everything is taking place on a film set, with an actress playing the role of the girl. Moments later, however, the fictional world infiltrates reality, when the members of the film crew are seen to participate in the story. The viewer here is forced to navigate between different layers of fiction and semi-documentary, in which the real oscillates to the point of becoming unreal.”




Have a look on Sarah & Charles’ own website to discover more of their work.

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