Barbara Visser


»What fascinates me is that freedom is essentially an illusion. Whether you’re an artist, an accountant or a criminal, the ›freedom‹ of the artist only works if he or she is willing to play the game of conventions and rules. Some artists show this more than others, like Marc Bijl, who had a huge tattoo drawn on his stomach showing the text: ›This belly was made possible by the Fonds voor Beeldende Kunst, Vormgeving en Bouwkunst.‹ Is it really the ultimate freedom to be able to place a rather useless revelation just above the belt? Isn’t it therefore perhaps logical, that an accountant – or anyone for that matter – might also long for this kind of freedom?«
– Barbara Visser

On 3 March 2009, Clemens K., the head of finances at an Amsterdam arts fund, disappeared with €15.8 million and has not been seen since. The people in his former milieu were left in shock: bewildered, angry, surprised and concerned. It was not so much the huge amount that he had stolen; it was more the treachery that affected them most. Unexpectedly, and apparently out of nowhere, he’d broken all conventions at a personal and professional level. The film’s point of departure is the paradoxical, almost mythical idea that a meticulous man of numbers – he who had sent innumerable warnings and corrections to us artists – did what most artists want to do. But did so only in a symbolic manner: crossing boundaries, putting his own needs and desires first with little thought for justification to the outside world.
C.K. inverses the cliché of the boring world of bookkeepers and the exciting life of artists. Where, when and how did it all begin? How it could happen that a pedantic old accountant, who used to send countless reminders and warnings to the artists, could suddenly translate into reality his own needs and wishes without even as much as a justification? Here we get a version of events from those that Clemens K. left behind.

Film programme Seduction

Director / Script

Barbara Visse


Benito Strangio, Ton Peters


Hinne Brower, Mario Steenbergen, Marieke Wijnen


Joris van Ballegoijen de Jong, Kees de Groot, Pepijn Aben, Bouwe Mulder

Production / Contact

De Familie

Barbara Visser

Barbara Visser trained as a visual artist in Amsterdam, Maastricht and New York. Her work – conceptual narratives, using photography, film, text and performance – plays with the notions of authentic and constructed identities. She has participated at various art biennials and won international oeuvre awards for her visual work, including the Dutch Cultural Media Fund Documentary Award (2010), the David Roell Prize (2007) and the Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart Prize (2000). C.K. was Ms Visser’s directing debut.