Doppelgängers, unspeakable love, inaudible sound: these are the words enigmatic art historian Gerard Van den Acker used to summarise his visionary research about Jan Van Eyck. Björn Schmelzer and Graindelavoix delve into the mysterious life and work of their loyal friend Van den Acker, whose early death abruptly ended a promising and sensational Van Eyck investigation.

'Van Eyck Diagrams' is a musical and theatrical séance as well as an honorary tribute to a frenetic genius, but also a re-enactment of his unfinished life's work. In the presence of the audience, Van den Acker's impenetrable Van Eyck archive is unlocked: his endless series of plans and sketches, the obsessive comments on the smallest and most vague details and Van Eyck's iconoclastic view of the beginnings and ends of art. The nocturnal conversations and the many silent but no less musical hours in the study of this unique art historian are relived until the disastrous end: Van den Acker's desperate visit to Hubert van Eyck's grave in Ghent. Van den Acker claimed it is possible to recreate Van Eyck's universe not in words, but in a parallel, musical world.

This is a co-production by De Bijloke Muziekcentrum and KunstFestSpiele Herrenhausen.

  • Singers / performers: Andrew Hallock, Albert Riera, Marius Peterson, Arnout Malfliet, Margarida Garcia, Björn Schmelzer
  • Concept / artistic direction: Björn Schmelzer
  • Dramaturgy / scenography: Margarida Garcia
  • Live electronics: Lee Patterson
  • Lighting: Koen Broos
  • Sound: Alex Fostier
  • Imaging: Bert Timmermans