lundi 8 septembre 2014

Pixel Sunrise

Drawing of a bionic eye device after a 3D model found in google images
(c) Second Sight Medical Products

My project came out from a questionning about utopias of post-humanism. Investigating about technologies of retinal prothesis and their pionneer patients, I discovered a perception of a new kind as long as limitations in its expression. Limitation in the transcription of the visual perception itself (something that we all share) as well as limitation in the transmissions of elements leaking industrial secrets on the product. The line between the persons and the product becomes thin when post-human people are bound to the constructor of their implants, as part of the product experiment themselves. Their new glance is then subordinate to the imperatives of the industry. Out some months before the Google glasses what can those special smart glasses are made with the same goal to improve connection, orientation, surveillance and  efficiency of user in citylife. Though, unlike Google Glasses users, people equipped with Second Sight still have to hold on with patience in order to read the world through their new eyesight. As Stephen Hawking used to run on his legs, people getting the artificial retina lost their retinal cells step by step. Therefore they were operated with hope to reconnect to the world, to catch a lighthouse in the fog - finding back their eyes at night, in dreams of colorful memories. The happy few who handle the device are trying to relay on their capacity of projection and synesthesia in order to give a meaning to the light signal their brain receives. A perception which was described as a watercolor process ( cf Science et vie). 

Lightpainting with LED lamps.

The lost and found of visual perception raises the issue of our presence to the world,  to oneself but also loneliness and difficulty of connecting and transmitting perception. My original project for "Pixel Sunrise" was to establish a collaboration with a patient and a therapist around a transcription of the perception. The goal of this meeting would have been to confront the external objective scientific approach to the subjective interpretation of the patient. Blurring the lines, the piece would have transform biosignals into images. We would have confuse the inside and the outside, a lightened electrode with the moon.  A sunrise after sunset as the dream of a sunrise in the daytime. 



Those aesthetic researches were made in collaboration with Delphine Menoret (cinematographer) and Raphaël Thibault (colorist-former student at Le Fresnoy Studio National), who formerly worked on "A radiant Life". We put our interest in a meeting in between numeric and analogic compositing ; the connection between film 16mm and numeric. Unfortunatly, the contract Second Sight made me sign was both allowing me to meet patients and forbidding me then to communicate via an installation or a film what we would discover. 
I then took the decision to give up the collaboration and set up a new work which could quote them from afar : an interactive installation bringing up relationships in between screens and damaged retinas, loss of vision and numeric innovation. 

Pixel sunrise - installation  interactive 
Prog : Johan Lescure (c) Le Fresnoy Studio National
Contact :

To leave one’s shadow is to cease being in the world between the earth and sun, the electric light bulb and the wall. The empty cavities left by the bodies of the inhabitants of Pompeii and the shadows on the ground captured by the view camera in Hiroshima bear witness to our precariousness and to nature’s ability to fix our most everyday moments. In a digital tense flow, the installation refers to the early days of photography, blind gazes of subjects petrified in their patience, the wait to be immortalised. Death is above all an image that is lacking, the end of the tape or return to the start. Navigating between several dimensions, as if teleported, we often say, “I didn’t see the time go by.” 


My project came out from a questionning of post-shumanism, man-machine interaction, along which I got interest into biotechnologies of retinal implants. The installation enables a single visitor or group to experience a movement back and forth between the fixation and dissolution of their form. Each occurrence in the white cube is interconnected and the movement of one affect on the representation of the other on the screen. On a white background, white cube and white light, the installation questions the binary and essentialist revelation of the image.

The keystone of the installation is to be found in the dissociation of a screen and its polarising filter that has been removed, a distancing which reveals a LED screen as a monochrome of white light. A path leading to the delay of the image, subject to a gradual, fragile revelation, through a hung filter, as a square lense-prothesis.


mardi 22 octobre 2013

Une Vie Radieuse

Fiction experimental 

France 2013, 17'33 

1:66 - Color - NB



1952, la Cité Radieuse de Marseille reçoit ses premiers occupants, 80 fonctionnaires et des dédommagés de guerre venant des quatre coins de la France. Certains sont portés par l’idéal que promet Le Corbusier. A son arrivée, un couple expérimente les lieux, l’équipement, l’espace qui lui est imparti. L’un comme l’autre réagit à son nouvel habitat, Sa singularité, ses précisions. Le corps interroge l’utopie. nouvel Eden mis au monde en pleine reconstruction, La Cité Radieuse, version courte de la Ville Radieuse, flotte sur l’après-guerre comme si rien ne s’était passé. A son bord, s’installent le froid, la solitude et la stérilité.

1952, The Radiant City of Marseille receives its first occupants, eighty civil servants and compensated from war, coming from the four corners of France. Some are led by the promise of Le Corbusier’s ideals. Upon arrival, a couple experiments the location, facilities, and space allotted to them. They each respond to the new habitat. Its uniqueness, its details. The body questions the utopia. New Eden born under the reconstruction, The radiant city floats on the after-war As nothing happened. On board, settled cold, loneliness and sterility.


(c) Meryll Hardt - Le Fresnoy Studio National des arts contemporains

With Meryll Hardt - Patrick Blauwart- Dr. Brabant. The voices of Daniel Dobbels, Jordan Gauthier, Christophe Vanheule, Sofiane Belaibi, Chantal Salmon, Lyne K, Léonore Mercier, Meryll Hardt. 
Director of Photography : Delphine Ménoret, Julien Guillery
Camera Assistant : Julien Hogert
Props : Maxime Mercadier
Make up / Hairstylists  : Lisa Keuchguerian, Clothilde Legrand, Valérie Bisbrouck.
Costume Design : Sylvie Dermigny

Editing: Meryll Hardt
Compositing / Calibrating : Raphaël Thibault
Audio Ingineer : Jérôme Noirot, Felix Kubin
Audio Assistants :  Antoine Sugita, Mathieu Lambin
Audio Editor / Mixer : Remi Mencucci
Original soundtrack : Meryll Hardt, Julie Normal, Accident du travail

Contact / diffusion :
Natalia Trebik

  "An unsettling retro science-fiction film, A RADIANT LIFE explores the grim side of Le Corbusier’s utopic visions of the ideal city. In a masterful blend of archive materials, choreography and fiction, MERYLL HARDT examines the alienation raising when the need for geometrical harmony of space overshadows the need for human warmth. The coldness of the concrete sneaks into the character’s lives, while the sterility of the house becomes a sterility of human relationships. The radiant city proves unable to support life. The living space turns from home into a concrete cage. 

Centering the story around a 1950s housewife, the film poignantly underlines the sense of constraint and rigidity. Bit by bit, the characters are infected by the environment’s sterility. Individuality is lost, as movements and gestures lose their freedom and expressivity and become a rehearsed choreography. In a geometrical décor, the mise-en-scène fragments the protagonist’s body, revealing the completely alienating and dehumanizing aspects of life in what is more a cage than a home.” 

Diana Mereoiu, BIEFF 2013

samedi 1 septembre 2012

On the other hand / Vennestraat Project / Manifesta 9 Parallel Event

On the other hand
Two digital videos, colour, sound 8' PAL 16/9

(c) Meryll Hardt. OTOH Genoa / Genk 2012.

"On the other hand" finds its roots in a story that had been reported to me. The story of an Italian young woman who arrived in Genk (Limbourg - Belgium)  with her family in the mid-sixties while the first mine crises and the strikes were on the point to happen. A young woman who was spending a lot of time imagining that her sister - who stayed in Italy - was just behind the hedge of her garden. 

The project pictures two characters, one based in Genk and the other one based in the North part of Italy.
The first character is the young immigrant, living and working in Genk as a cleaning lady at C-mine, but also an operator of a shut cinema where some posters have turned yellow.
Actions take place in 2012 but it is not fully revealed, she rather appears like a pre-1968 character.
Such as the young woman of the original story, she is in connection with some disseminate marks of her native country.
She is juxtaposed to a double, her twin sister stayed in Liguria. 
Her routine face the melancholic tour trip of her sister.
This second character, the italian sister, is at the edge of the frame.

Between the camera eye and the focus, she is watching Italia, re-enacting memories, typical scenes and clichés (hitting the aesthetic a postal card off). A tour that takes the bedroom - and the view that a bed along an open window can offer - as its starting and ending point.

Co-curatoria Michela Saccheta & Fransceca Berardi
Vennestraat Hidden Places and Identities
Genk Manifesta 9 - Parallel event.

(!) the videos below are supposed to be played together side by side with head phones or another way to switch from soundtrack to another.

jeudi 7 juin 2012

Ligne Obscure at Ars Justitia

Performance at the opening of the new courthouse of Liège
Salle du tribunal de commerce.
Curated by Eric Therer.

mardi 20 mars 2012

I can die happy

Can I die happy?

"I can die happy" is the result of a single improvisation on an instrumental version of "Love walked in" by George Gershiwn. 
Ignoring the song that Ira Gershwin later added to the composition for the"Goldwyn follies" (1937) , I took the freedom to create a new song on Georges Gerswhin's original composition, re-interpretated by Joe Loss and his orchestra in 1954.

Playing this instrumental from a found record collected in Bruxelles's streets has been the occasion to rethink the piece before its use by golden age  entertainement. It has been an elegant way to project myself in the historical context of its re-interpretation, 1954, in between Alain Turing suicide and atomic paranoia.

In last september, Gagarin Records gave this track the opportunity of a new embodiement via an Apolkalypso 7 inch.



One side: I can die happy (3:02)
Other side: Lichtspiel (3:50)


In her search for continuity and resonance, Meryll Hardt resuscitates bodies of the past and beheads the space-time relation; preferring to double herself while doing so. Whether through improvised singing over old dance orchestra recordings or the Lichtspiel (play of lights) between Strasbourg, Berlin and Brussels: Meryll is constantly detecting the secret corners between the conscious and the unconscious, and light and shadow. With her heart and kidney wide open, she joyfully stitches her finds into a cosmos of its own.

Felix Kubin

mercredi 15 février 2012

Yeah I'm still searchin'

Documentary essay 40'  
DV Pal 4/3
+ Book (19,5x13,5) 12 pages 
Non commercial use only / limited edition
Ecole de Recherche Graphique
Bruxelles 2011
(Diffusion : on demand at

Thanks to : Guillaume Désange, Loraine Furter, Annik Leroy, Hannah Geise/Moemlien, Juliette Mélampyre, Jonathan Boutefeu for their support and participation.

Winner of Discovery price at 

"Yeah I'm still searchin '" is a documentary essay taking as its starting point In search of the miraculous last aborted performance work of Bas Jan Ader, dutch conceptual romantic artist. As a quest of the metaphysic that led the artist to his loss, In search of the miraculous was a performative work splitted into three  "acts".

PART I consisted in a night walk in Los Angeles streets in the direction to the sea. It had been reported by photographies  taken by Mary Sue Ader (his wife) and had been exhibited successfuly at Claire Coppley Gallery. PART II consisted in the solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. known as a trained and experimented sailor, Bas Jan, unfortunatly never came back and was lost at sea, after several weeks of radio silence in between Cap Cop (U.S.A) and the british coasts.

In between his disappearance during summer 75' and the early 00' Bas Jan stayed more or less ignored by art circuits, not exhibited and presented and absolutly unknown from larger audiences. But in the early 2000, when his memory suddenly reappeared, Bas Jan inspired a lot of artists who gave tributes and tryed to walk in his shoes.

For my research, I questioned the issue of continuity and validity of a continuum, while considering the fact that the only existing documentary film existing on Bas Jan Ader, "Here is always somewhere else" (2008) had been directed  by Rene Daalder and co-produced by Aaron Ohlmann at the initiative of Mary Ader Sue Anderson, widow and former collaborator of Bas Jan. I got interest in the work of Bas Jan for his melancolic questionning of modernity, mocking at Mondrian and many other with the tone and elegance of Buster Keaton.

Bas Jan last aborded work, In search of the miraculous PART I  exhibition at Claire Coppley Gallery,  from which the postcard above had been the invitation (photo taken from another travel on sea) included two sets of photographs, referring a walk in the streets of Los Angeles, between dusk and dawn, in the direction of the beach.

Two sets of black and white prints on which the artist then wrote the lyrics of a popular song entitled "Searchin" performed  by the band The Costers.

The image above had been taken from this first part, it allowed me to enter the work of Bas Jan Ader in a positive way, by titling my work,  "Yeah I'm still searchin'."

The booklet coming with my documentary essay is to be taken as an attempt to think about this third part he never did. A rambling at night that was scheduled in Amsterdam after his Atlantic cross, echoing the first rambling, in Los Angeles streets.

My booklet  contains some photographs I took last September, two nights long, visiting Amsterdam with my friend Hannah Geise/Moemlien, Amsterdam based musician and fine artist.

For the exhibition of PART I "In search of the Miraculous" at Claire Coppley Gallery Los Angeles, a choir of students were asked to sing some sailor songs, including "A life on the Ocean Waves" written and composed by Henry Russel (1838), which also is the official hymn of the british navy.

I choised, for one sequence of my work to make a new cover of that track, with several voices of mine, like a choir, and to edit the track with Yuri Gagarin first flight in space footage, on April the 12th 1961. Yuri G. who unlike Bas Jan, came back from his solitary travel (in spite of some technical problems), with a now a day famous statment :"I see no God up there"

This video is the long cut version of an extract of one sequence of « Yeah I’m still searchin" which is not actually online, but visible on demand at, for non commercial diffusion contexts such as seminars, free diffusions, school/research.