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Review of the Short Documentary: “Quoting Masterpieces” (2023) directed by Koert Davidse
Review of the Short Documentary: "Quoting Masterpieces" (2023) directed by Koert Davidse

Review of the Short Documentary: “Quoting Masterpieces” (2023) directed by Koert Davidse

Koert Davidse attended the St. Joost Academy in Breda, where he studied photography and visual arts. He then worked as a scriptwriter for both fiction and documentary films. In the late 1990s, he began directing documentaries himself. In 2004, he co-founded seriousFilm production company with Marc THELOSEN. Davidse has a deep admiration for renowned Japanese artist Tadanori Yokoo and has expressed this admiration by physically placing himself within several of Yokoo’s paintings, in an extreme form of identification and to closely engage with the artworks.

Quoting Masterpieces is screening at Camera Japan

The 12-minute short film opens with the camera moving through artist Yokoo’s paintings while Davidse narrates, providing commentary on the paintings and highlighting small details that demonstrate his close study of them. Examples include the purple nails of a man and the landscape in the background of an ear. This connects the film to its title. In the following scene, Davidse is shown trying on different outfits in a studio and having his hands and head painted before being photographed in different poses. He is then inserted into the paintings, replacing various men depicted in them, and comments on the effect his presence has on the artworks.

The concept of death is prominently featured in Davidse’s analysis of the painting “Death Makes Everyone Equal.” In his next endeavor, he assumes the role of a baby and reflects on the war-related messages depicted in the complex painting “Adieu My Hometown.” However, the painting ultimately concludes on a hopeful tone.

“Clearly, the film ‘Quoting Masterpieces’ serves as both a homage to Yokoo and a portrayal of the director. In this manner, the segment that introduces the artist to those who are unfamiliar with him or delves deeper for those who are already familiar but may not have considered certain aspects before, is quite enjoyable to watch. The paintings featured in the film are both skillfully crafted and multi-dimensional. However, when Yokoo himself makes an appearance, the film takes a more personal turn, even though his actions are still considered art.”

Therefore, the short film presents a mix of elements, but it is definitely worth watching as it showcases a highly significant artist.