Last Saturday May 18, Steven Humblet was our guest in the exhibition Mater, Deraedt & Fliervoet. His interest in photography and opinions about the medium made his lecture quite playful and discursive at the same time.
Photography is a medium without identity, without handwriting, unlike painting or sculpting, which are only about identity. Therefore photography has to make alliances with science, publicity, architecture to have an ambition. Everyone who is using the medium photography has to find out what to do with it, where to focus on, when to push the button.
Sara Deraedt focuses in a series of photos of the vacuum cleaner. These are close-ups and made with the flash so that space and attraction are lost. The photos are hung in a way they don’t interact with each other. The creepy photos of vacuum cleaners are pushing the spectator away, and the space with some interventions like a curtain and light bulb is getting the attention. The biggest wall in the exhibition space is left empty, it is exhibiting itself. Steven Humblet mentioned Baudrillard as a reference to this kind of photography, which has to do with alienation.
Then we descended the stairs to look at the work of Katja Mater. Steven Humblet explained the procedure of the making of the photos. It is quite inventive that the photos are in opposition with what photos always do: freezing a certain moment in time. The photos of Katja Mater are showing something that doesn’t exist anymore. By multi-exposure of the negative in the camera it is not freezing moments in time, it becomes a print of time. The five folded variations are unique pieces of a complex treatment of a photo printed from a negative which was four or five times exposed during the painting of an object. Steven liked very much the experiment: the 3D painted object which doesn’t exist as on the photo, that becomes 2D on the multi-exposed negative and the big print of it. And becomes again 3D by folding the big print five times in a different way. Object – photo – sculpture.
The sunflares of Maartje Fliervoet do their work by being beautiful jewellery in beautiful transparent boxes. The light spots, which usually is a photographic error and which are octagonal like the diaphragm of the camera, are cut out from photos and used for the 5 photograms in the exhibition. It is the combination of an optical and chemical principle which come together in that beautiful, transparent jewellery box. The most sensual photos in the exhibition.