M.F.- G.D.- 99

Dirk Braeckman


Photography, 120 x 180 cm.
Materials: silver gelatine print, aluminium

Collection: Collection M HKA, Antwerp (Inv. no. BK7266).

These large-format black-and-white photos by Dirk Braeckman are isolated pieces in time and space, with no trace of human presence. The titles do not give us any point of contact. They are a personal code that refers to the place where the picture was taken, with whom and in which year. In this way Braeckman wants you to enter into each of his works anew and always look at it with fresh eyes. The images are frontal shots that claim their place in the room and obstruct any view of something behind. The recurrent dark and drab tones create mysterious effect, and the grainy surface texture (caused by the enlargement from a small negative) makes the whole thing blurred. Unusual cropping means that several of the objects are only partly shown, or not at all. The overall feeling is ominous, although there is no visible trace of any threat. The experience is an internal one. Braeckman says: ‘When you reduce everything it comes straight at you. Sex, death. I know it sounds like a narrow cliché, but you have to dare admit that that’s what it’s about. That power and destructiveness of it, the feeling and the anti-feeling: it certainly remains an underlying layer in my work. However much it may be below the surface. Remarkably enough, in my work it has a lot to do with the cropping. The fact that you don’t see certain things, or that you do.’

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