The public is not present

"retrospective on my public artistic expressions"

This short film is an extension of the screening/performance of one of my short films in July 2021 selected by Inspired by Triennale Brugge 2021. The setting is an 18th-century house at the screening/performance venue, a public park, named after Prof. J. Sebrechts (1885-1948), a renominated surgeon at the Sint-Jans hospital in Brugge. The beautiful house has typical high ceilings, a fireplace in every room, ornamental moldings, and a parquet floor. It is abandoned for some time now, showing signs of decay. The atmosphere is nostalgic, slightly eerie but comfortable. In one of the rooms, at twilight, I project my short film "Darkentries" against the wall...

As an artist, there is a strange void, a busy silence, between the public and the presented work. A somehow sad and melancholic space, however, also glowing with support and creative fireworks inside. It feeds me like fresh rain. The title of the short film is a wordplay on Marina Abramovic's "The artist is present" (2009).

Also, one of my idioms as an artist has been to make a short film out of a performance of a short film. I admit it may be far-fetched. "How meta can one be?", the comment of an attendee of the screening/performance upon revealing my filming-the-film-screening plans. It turned out to be an interesting reflective and creative starting point, resulting in this experience-based, poetic audio-visual voyage.

Thanks to the City of Brugge and Inspired by Triennale Brugge. Love to the attendees of the screening performance. It was my pleasure. Special thanks to Raoul Boucquey, Sebastiaan Boucquey and Martine Van Parys, and the Sebrechts familiy.

  • Nikolaas Boucquey
  • Nikolaas Boucquey
  • Nikolaas Boucquey
  • Nikolaas Boucquey
    Key Cast
  • Nikolaas Maria Boucquey
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Art, experience-based, screening/performance, video poem, short film
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 1, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    16,500 EUR
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital Full HD
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Indie Short Fest - Los Angeles
    Los Angeles
    United States
    Official Selection Best Experimental Short
Distribution Information
  • Short Film Taking Time
    Country: Belgium
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Nikolaas Boucquey


2021 Short Film Taking Time: screening short film/performance
2020 Short film/music videos
2019 Docent Energy Management at HOWEST University of Applied Sciences
2016 Bachelor of Arts in Art Sciences UGent (cum laude), Major Performance and Media Art
1994 Designer, project manager, manager
1993 Master in Bio-engineering sciences
1980 Poetry / Photography / Music
1969 Birth


Short Film Taking Time: short film/performance inspired by Trienal Brugge on 20-24/07/2021 and 6-7/11/2021

The public is not present (2021), semi-finalist Indie Short Fest - L.A. Film Festival
Carnage (2021)
Darkentries (2021), semi-finalist ATFF - Toronto
Exoplanet (2020)

KoudHelderSpiegelWarm (2021)
Forlorn fields (2020)
Papillon (2020)
The writer (2020)

Wolf’s run (2020)
Online poetry: insert everywhere (2017)

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

= Artist-explorer.
From personal and on site-specific experiences, to the larger contemporary world. The process of creation is an exploration. Deejaying media and performing art, audio-visual art, poetry. I imagine for your pleasure, surprise, and awareness. Teasing to explore.
= Accessible.
The audio-visual is rhythmic, colorful without hiding for dissonance. Sequences speak an intuitive non-reflective language, and open the senses, breaking down chronological time.
= Dada.
There are layers, and topics to be discovered. At present my dada is posthumanism, climate change, media, human drivers, the changing interactions between public spaces/private spheres/virtuality.
= Onsite objets-trouves.
Fragments of images, words, sound, music, text are objets-trouvés captured on the spot. The transcription of a comic, but also tragic existence, by meeting objects. Recruiting the sites’ specificity as one of the major actors. Before and after the site, there is the digging up of information, then there is the meeting and exploring, looking for experiences, languages, awareness, and truths....and eventually letting go to imagine another site.
= Avant-garde
Free transversal expression beyond the formal but inside conceptual frames, intentionally questioning contemporary audio-visual language and form.
= Humour
Connotation, depth, and intensity however seasoned with critical surrealist humor.
= Invite.
Let yourself be inspired beyond the obvious...My work is not mine, it is also yours. It is an invite, not a finished object. The direction and pace of that possible journey are yours to choose...