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