Ghost town? Where are the people?
That’s exactly the point. In this town the lack of togetherness is designed. Even on a friday afternoon, in the city center it’s hard to meet people. It really requires a serious effort to find signs of authentic being in this society. The remains of existence are outstanding. I’m sorry to come to this conclusion.
I have been meaning to ask you about that since so many of your “towns to avoid” don’t have people! Still love your black and white images. I’ll have to hear the backstory on the lack of togetherness someone.
I have to take zero steps to show Flemish society the way it really is organized. I must admit the people I sometimes have to deal with find it very hard to forgive me for this point of view. Most of them have personal interest in showing opposite realities. But at my age I’m no longer interested in pleasing the wrong people:)
That’s the intriguing part of your vision. You don’t shade the facts but in a very artistic way.
Thanks. Although I’m extremely thrifty with the use of the word ‘artistic’. I would rather say ‘personal’. The ‘artists’ I know are spiritually tied and I feel rather free and boundless within the clues of the Bible.
Personal view + poetic skills = Art. It might be too simple but it hasn’t anything to do with spiritual ties.
Still, in this small country, where catholic ambiguity is celebrated daily, I have to conclude that being part of a particular spirituality is essential in the simple recognition of being an artist. I experienced personally in a Brussels art school how intriguing the rejection by anonymous ‘teachers’ really works. Sometimes I wish I could find another clarification than just the vague word ‘spirituality’. One thing is for sure : the work of art has almost nothing in common with the recognition of the author; the network in which an artist is admitted, defines his/her public relevance. My disappointment is strictly limited to this natural conclusion and to some people -calling themselves teachers- of which I expected some brave authenticity. In Belgium this is false hope… Maybe elsewhere (in Germany) another spirituality rules? Nevertheless,the daily making of pictures is important to myself and a handful people attempting to simply look at these images. That’s enough for me:)
That’s an interesting point of view. I also believe in the strong influences and necessity of personal surroundings. Its reactions are the only reliable feedback you can get. Even if it’s negative. But it’s a step back in a certain way. Being a completely self taught photo hobbyist I never had to argue with any teacher. Regarding the intellectual or spiritual ambiguity my experience in my profession leads into a similar conclusion as yours. With a slight difference. It’s not the catholizism or protestantism ruling any more, the political correctness took over. You still say and write what you want. But in public, especially in any political arena, a certain usage of words leads into a purgatory. Even science is affected. The public opinion is not reliable any more if you seek for intelligent critics. We are thrown back into personal surroundings. The public became an arena full of deeply self controlled talking heads. They arouse more pity than fellowship ore real critics.
I fully agree, though (as a teacher myself) I keep on asking more questions. If any religious opinion doens’t matter anymore and if ‘political correctness’ took over as a ruling ‘modus vivendi’, then I must ask what kind of criteria this correctness is based on? Aren’t all criteria spiritual, economic, strategic, based on prestige? My quest in the Belgian art scene, connecting with people I thought were honest and authentic, led me constantly to the conclusion of a separate spirituality. I honestly tried to avoid this conclusion, by hoping it was only based on individual frustration or jealousy or a lack of intelligence…. But a denial of the sunlight (a Dutch proverb) would be arrogant and stupid too; looking around, with or without camera, with or without hypothesis, with or without an open mind, I keep on being confronted with this individual reality. Let’s say we’re sentenced to a limited period in the purgatory. I hope:)
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