Antoine De Winter, Followers, 2024
UNIQUE. Beyond Photography
Apr 19 – Jun 8, 2024
Hangar
Brussels, Belgium

In the UNIQUE exhibition, we explore 21 projects by artists, half of whom are under 40 and based in Belgium. What unites them is the creative gesture. It’s no longer just the photographic perspective, but the manual labor that is celebrated here. Establishing this physical connection with the artwork results in the creation of unique pieces that defy the norms of analog photography and oppose the reproducibility of digital photography.

The project Ville-Nature questions the place of non-human life in our urban societies, and the relationship we individually and collectively maintain with it. Nicolas Andry does so by focusing on the trees and climbing plants growing between sidewalks and facades, in this blurred space that belongs both to the public and private sphere.

Plants communicate with each other and with their environment. They are not inanimate beings; they use light and chemical processes to feed, communicate, and interact with animals. Pepe Atocha’s approach to this particular universe, involves analog photography because, like plants, he uses light and chemical processes to achieve his goals.

Followers is an exploration of image production and its emotional resonance, seamlessly intertwined with a reflection on the representation of the ego in the digital age. Antoine De Winter delves into themes of transience, humanity, and contradiction through photography, while probing the depths of image sanctification and ego in our current society.

Gundi Falk employs the process of chemigram, learned alongside Pierre Cordier (1933-2024), pioneer and creator of the chemigram in 1956. The works are created without a camera, in full light, combining painting, etching, and photography in unconventional ways. The title of the series alludes to the work of the famous photography duo Hilla and Bernd Becher. Gundi Falk was particularly drawn to their repertoire of industrial buildings.

Inspired by the female heroine of the film of the same name: La Noire de … from 1966 by the West African author, poet and director Ousmane Sembene. “In my version about the woman who sees no other way out than to reclaim her freedom and self-determination through suicide, she lets all the anger, resistance and her attitude be felt, refects and even appropriates ‘whiteness’, and rejects all certainty even with the male pronoun.” – Anys Reimann

Vincent Zanni explores the potential of photography through a rigorous analog methodology. He combines traditional and contemporary techniques such as cyanotypes and wet collodion to highlight the importance of process and materials in his work. In his recent projects, La Maison and Sights of Unary, he examines the significance of family archives and memories, exploring the interaction between imagery and societal impact. By delving into his own family archives, he questions the concept of permanence in photography and explores its evolving nature.

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