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Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Lara Gasparotto, Portrait, 2009, Courtesy Stieglitz19

Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography

Curator : Dries Roelens, Organised by Stieglitz19

Elke Andreas Boon » Bert Danckaert » Lara Gasparotto » Torsten Goffin » Jimmy Kets » Charlotte Lybeer » Arno Roncada »

Exhibition: – 17 Apr 2011

Guangdong Museum of Art

38 Yanyu Road, Er-sha Island
510105 Guangzhou



Tue-Sun 9-17

Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Charlotte Lybeer, Fox

Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Curator : Dries Roelens, Organised by Stieglitz19

Opening : March 16th
Expo : March 16th - April 17th

The exposition “Depth of Field” (DOF) shows work by art photographers laboring at the perimeter of their field, investigating the diversity of the photographic medium as we know it. In a sense, these photographers show us how the world appears to them.

In this exposition the term “Depth of Field” indicates the photographer’s control over focus, over the specific elements in each work that are either in focus or are unclear, a fundamental artistic concept. “Depth of Field” is a challenging notion for all photographers. A basic aspect of any composition is where to focus and where to blur. A sharp focus might, like an eagle’s eye, pinpoint a vitally important subject, or it might not. This dichotomy makes the relationship between photography and reality somewhat paradoxical. Focus is the ultimate challenge for the photographers on display in this show: Arno Roncada, Bert Danckaert, Charlotte Lybeer, Elke Boon, Francois Goffin, Jimmy Kets and Lara Gasparotto.

For these artists, the real issue is no longer the photographic surface itself, but the relationship among the spaces in each composition within that photograph and how these relate to each other. Photography does not exist independently anymore; it has become an aspect of a new world with a more complex virtual structure. The exhibition shows us an overview of this new understanding. This show highlights the dialectical connection between the sharp focus and the blur, between the fading and the extremely sharp image. One cannot exist without the other. These photographers employ a range of strategies to provoke singular concepts in esthetical and ethical judgment.

If we examine the historical debate between pictorialism (Leonard Misonne) and straight photography (Alfred Stieglitz), we can determine that the works on display by these young photographers demonstrate two things: they stimulate poetic imagination and they create room for new interpretation. On the other hand, their work supports autonomous photography
that symbolizes freedom, regeneration and represents, (if such a contradiction in terms actually exists) what we may call an “organized anarchy”. Their pictures amaze us by their lack of convention. They stimulate our imagination.

These photographers are true innovators. For them photography is a tool with which to display their experiences and their philosophies about life in general. In this sense they are akin to their colleagues in painting Michael Borremans and Luc Tuymans. The medium photography contributes to the re-birth of the photographer as a painter-photographer. The battle between an old art: painting, and a relatively young one: the 172-year old medium photography, may very well be over. The photographer no longer endures the world, but rather conquers it with a new gaze and a new “Depth of Field”. This is an extremely inspiring experience.

Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Jimmy Kets, Elvis, Courtesy Stieglitz19
Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Francois Goffin, Air, 2008 , Courtesy Stieglitz19
Depth of Field - Contemporary Belgian Photography
Bert Danckaert, Havana, #402 , Courtesy Bert Danckaert