. Cinéma

While the invention of the cinématogrape by the French Lumière brothers is widely regarded as the birth of cinema, a number of developments in photography preceded the advent of film. Among the people pioneering work on animation devices was a Belgian professor of experimental physics. Joseph Plateau, who was active at Ghent University, invented an early stroboscopic device in 1836, entitled the “phenakistoscope”. It consisted of two disks, one with small equidistant radial windows, through which the viewer could look, and another containing a sequence of images. When the two disks rotated at the correct speed, the synchronization of the windows and the images created an animated effect. The projection of stroboscopic photographs, creating the illusion of motion, eventually led to the development of cinema. The 1930s however saw the first serious attempt at cinema, with several prominent figures experimenting with new filming techniques and founding the Belgian Documentary School. This gallery is an ode to Belgian cinema and it includes films by René Magritte, Marcel Broodthaers, and Panamerenko.