Ikebana Blues, Polvere and Limen are a response to a journey along the edges of human existence and shadows. An external and observative point of view that aims to look at the internal and dissect the subconscious, rendered by a shared use of blurry and dark surfaces.
The photographs are complemented by a projection. The exhibition develops through two floors – it begins upstairs, with Waterschoot’s formal observations of places, and then moves onto Dal Mas’ work, which develops from upstairs, continuing along the stairs and the wall downstairs, concluding with Blanchaert’s work, displayed in a room, separated by a black curtain. Through Dieter Debruyne’s expert use of the curatorial practice, the artists’ identities are well amalgamated throughout the space in a way that doesn’t obfuscate one another. Their aesthetic consistency allows ‘Tiny Tears’ to be an effective representation of contemporary Belgian photography.
The idea of a physical and psychological journey is apparent throughout the exhibition. Waterschoot nods at the element of ‘timelessness’ which is recurrent along the experience of the space. His spatial observation, deprived of any time markers, are the result of a prolonged experience of a place. There’s a sense of interruption of a narrative, as well as continuity in its temporal disorientation. Elements like curtains, fog, windows and doors contribute to a sense of layering and separation of the ‘inside’ from the ‘outside’. The untouched beds suggest an idea of absence, as well as Levina’s “posteriority of the anterior”. The consistency in lighting conveys a meditative state of the artist, as a recollection of the photographer into self-presence, a withdrawal of the self.
Aurore Dal Mas follows with her dusty black and white polaroids shifting the camera onto the inside of the narrative, shining a light onto that supposed narrative, providing bodies and details to Waterschoot’s unspoken otherness. The mise en scène of a inexistent film is a chance again for a journey ‘from within’. Reversing the viewers’ gaze, pieces of characters and spaces are left ‘rotting’ in their memories and circumstantiality to that present moment.
The increasing presence of the ‘other’ accompanies us to the room hidden behind the black curtain. Katlijn Blanchaert utilises a different language - black walls, projection, frames mixed with paper pinned onto the wall. ‘Limen’, latin for ‘threshold’, explores the suspense between past and future identity. In the attempt to make sense of her wounded soul, Blanchaert brings a fresh twist to the exhibition journey. The meditative gaze becomes more interactive, the distance is shortened, the work feels claustrophobic, enhanced by the enclosed space.
The extremely personal journey of the self is walked through the steps of the ‘other’. From Waterschoot’s external observation until Blanchaert’s exploration of human deepest thoughts, fleeing from experience. Tiny Tears’ language is highly seductive, yet disorientating, and represents the duality between space and time, private and public, rational and irrational. It is the attempt to depict modern nostalgia and metaphysical struggles, ultimately providing the viewer with a new language to discern their ego’s obscurity.
Curator Dieter Debruyne talks with Katlijn Blanchaert, Aurore Dal Mas, Peter Waterschoot