The Residence (a wager for the afterlife)

A film by Vermeir & Heiremans

The Residence (a wager for the afterlife)
focuses on the artist as entrepreneur in a global society that qualifies economy as the single measure of things. Offering a biting commentary on the contagious nature of capitalism, it elaborates on the symbiosis of art and value, life, and economy. Using codes of fiction and fact, it questions representation and mediation of art and architecture. The Residence (a wager for the afterlife) features Ma Wen, a Chinese artist/architect, whose practice Vermeir & Heiremans documented in China.

The film also tells of two fictional characters. One is Hilar, a very wealthy investor who commissions the Chinese architect to develop a house for his afterlife. Through Hilar a world of economic fetishism opens up. The other is Lady Credit, a rather allegorical character that envelopes a dozen roles, all of them performed by one actress. Appearing not only as assistant in Ma Wen’s office, but also as the embodiment of all women in Hilar’s world, her multiplicity aligns with the financial market’s shiftiness.

Watch the full length video on Vimeo here

HD Video, 37’, sound & colour, Belgium, 2012


Written/directed/produced: Vermeir & Heiremans
Sound: Justin Bennett
Sound mix: Boris Debackere
Camera/editing: Amir Borenstein, Katleen Vermeir
Costume: Mieja Hollevoet
Photos: Kristen Daem


Artist/architect: Ma Wen

Lady Credit: Karlijn Sileghem,

The investor: Wim van der Grijn

News anchor: Carly Wijs

Dialogues derived from quotes from various sources
(Goethes Faust, part 2; Urban China #33; 18th century texts by Defoe, Hume, Swift, …)

Genre: Short fiction-documentary
Film locations: Xiamen, Hongkong, Shanghai, Brussels, Zeebrugge, Sint-Eloois-Winkel

Language: Chinese, English
Subtitles: English, Chinese

Production: Limited Editions
Coproduction: Argos (Brussels), C-Mine (Genk), Cultuurcentrum (Bruges),
deBuren (Brussels), Extra City (Antwerp), FLACC (Genk),
Manifesta 9 Limburg (Genk) and Triodos Fonds.

Support: Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) and the Flemish Community.
Research support: artist residencies in China CEAC (Xiamen), TIM (Beijing)

Film Distribution: Jubilee

Presentations to date:

The Atlantic Project, group exhibition at Civic Centre, curated by Tom Trevor, Plymouth (2018)

Pigment: Zones of Visibility, group exhibition curated by B. Bencsik at Glassyard Gallery, Budapest (2018)

The Good Life, screening at Filmmuseum Potsdam, DE (2015)

Life’s Finest Values, group exhibition curated by Ina Wudke and Florian Wust, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (2015)

We, Friends, group exhibition curated by Ma Wen, Xiamen, CN (2014)

Research on Value, screening and discussion organised by Critical Practice, London (2014)

IF I CAN’T DANCE, I DON’T WANT TO BE PART OF YOUR REVOLUTION, screening curated by Vivian Ziherl, Frederique Bergholtz and Nav Haq, OCAT, Shenzhen, CN  (2013)

Crude Economy, screening programme curated by Florian Wust during Impakt Festival, Capitalism Catch 22, Utrecht (2013)

13th Istanbul Biennal, group exhibition curated by Fulya Erdemci, Istanbul (2013)

Rencontres Internationales, film festival hosted by Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (2013)

Kapitalistisch Realisme, screening curated by Nienke Terpsma and Rob Hamelijnck, Rotterdam (2013)

Ingredients, group exhibition curated by Inga Steimane, Riga Art Space, Riga (2013)

Rencontres Internationales, film festival hosted by Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012)

Horizon 3 – F.E.A.K.: Between Memory and Representation, screening at De Bond, Brugge (2012)

Manifesta 9, group exhibition curated by Cuauhtemoc Medina, Katerina Gregos and Dawn Ades, Genk, BE (2012)

7th Shenzhen Sculpture Biennial, group exhibition curated by Liu Ding, Carol Lu and  Su Wei at OCT Contemporary Art terminal, Shenzhen, CN (2012)

The Residence (Reading Room), solo exhibition and discursive platform, Extra City, Antwerp (2012)

The Residence, solo exhibition at ARGOS, Brussels (2012)

In-Residence Magazine, a publication for Manifesta 9 Limburg (2012)

The Residence –location & photo props, Photo series of 17 pictures in collaboration with Kristien Daem (2012)

The Residence (a wager for the afterlife), video installation (2012)