© NSR, Wim Catrysse

NSR by Wim Catrysse

Cracking loudly, an icebreaker splits its way through Russian territorial waters. NSR takes us on a maritime road trip through an overwhelming Arctic landscape, the future of which is the subject of intense speculation. World economies could literally benefit from global warming and the permanent defrosting of this area. Is the Northern Sea Route a long-awaited shipping route in the making?


The film's point of departure is a sea voyage on a Russian icebreaker along the Northern Sea Route (NSR). A sea voyage during which Catrysse wants to capture a snapshot of history of a trade route as well as its anticipated future, which is rapidly changing under the influence of  inevitable climate change. This starting point will be approached intuitively and without prejudice. The production will focus more on the progression through powerful visual compositions with a poetic slant, rather than on the traditional elements of the fact-based narration. This does not rule out the possibility that a number of context-creating facts or considerations will find their way in the film: be it through fragments from internal and external ship communication, be it through dialogues between crew members, or be it through registrations of cartographic elements and other navigational systems.

WIM CATRYSSE lives and works in Antwerp. He gained a Masters degree in Visual Arts at the Luca School of Arts, Brussels in 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he attended a post-program course at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts (HISK) in Antwerp, followed by a one-year course at The Glasgow School of Art.
Ever since the late 1990s, Catrysse has been surveying the confnes of visual constructions in his video installations, taking an architectural structure or the topographical features of a site as his starting point. He translates this investigation into cinematographic works in which the exposing and balancing of elementary forces play an essential role. The result is an accumulation of images that jerk us out of our comfort zone, that convey a physical threat, images that have about them something unheimlich and often unseats the obviousness of our most common perceptions.

Catrysse's particular artistic method combines two apparently irreconcilable extremes: impulsiveness, physical directness, intuition and experimentation (almost nothing is worked out in detail beforehand) on the one hand and on the other an acute artistic and technical reasoning that can sometimes lead to complex cinematographic image constructions.

Wim Catrysse has participated in numerous exhibitions, both solo and group exhibitions as well as screenings, at international institutions, including S.M.A.K., Ghent | Ruhrtriennale, Essen | Kunstmuseum Bonn | Jeu de Paume, Paris | M HKA, Antwerp | CCA, Tel Aviv | Nikolaj Kunsthal, Copenhagen | Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona | Extra City, Antwerp | HKW, Berlin | Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam | MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome.

Production: Escautville