Picture Presence. New Conceptions of Space and Place in Contemporary Photography

1 Nov 2017

Early November: dates to be confirmed
Venice and Leuven

"You can constantly question my images: there are new stories in them every time" –Dirk Braeckman

Working with analogue photography, Dirk Braeckman explores the boundaries of his medium and challenges photographic conventions. His work reflects on the act of viewing and the status of the image. His photographic prints show anonymous subjects from his immediate surroundings. Stripped of anecdote, the stories they suggest are entirely open. Intimacy and distance combine in Braeckman’s photographic images to make a private, secluded world. Experiment is crucial to both the registration by the camera and the subsequent processing of the images in the darkroom. The exposure, manipulation and development of the negative and photographic paper consistently results in new and unique images. Grain, spots, cropping and flattening of perspective resist an immediate reading or interpretation of Braeckman’s work. The camera’s flash reflects off the surface of the subject, the texture of walls, curtains, carpets and posters. The Belgian Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale presents a series of monumental prints on baryta paper. Although some works also use colour and were made digitally, the exhibition focuses on new work in grey tones, heightening the iconic character of Braeckman’s images.

Dirk Braeckman publication:

M - Museum Leuven and König Books in London are publishing a new book to accompany the exhibition—a selection of work from Dirk Braeckman’s practice, with the emphasis on his recent creations. It includes 167 images and three texts in English by Douglas Fogle, Hubertus von Amelunxen and Eva Wittocx.

Follow-up exhibitions in Belgium:

After the Venice Biennale, the works will return to Belgium in February 2018 where they will be presented in a double show of Dirk Braeckman’s work held simultaneously at M - Museum in Leuven and BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, in Brussels.

Two-day symposium in Venice and Leuven:

In November 2017, M - Museum Leuven, Leuven University (KUL), the Lieven Gevaert Centre, LUCA School of Arts and IUAV University of Venice organize the two-day international symposium "Picture Presence: New Conceptions of Space and Place in Contemporary Photography," focusing on the broader relation between photography, space and spatiality.