D!NG represented the work of Jennifer in our four-year anniversary issue.
Jennifer Kesteleyn was born (20th July 1984) and raised in Ghent, Belgium. When she was in her childhood she was constantly drawing and painting. From puberty on, she started writing poetry which resulted in a number of publications. Numerous jury reports mentioned the strong visual dimension of her poetry where the physical aspects were omnipresent.
D!NG represented the work of Marinos in our four-year anniversary issue.
Marinos is a Netherlands-based Fine Art photographer and he was born (1984) in Crete, Greece. He studied contemporary photography at STEREOSIS Photography School. He is a member of the collective “Depression Era” that inhabits the urban and social landscape of the economic crisis in Greece. He has been featured in museums, galleries, international festivals and important public art spaces. Part of his work belongs to several private and public collections.
D!NG has been working closely with Catherine since the beginning. Her work was published in D!NG #7, ONE-YEAR and FOUR-YEAR anniversary issue. Her project Cabin Fever was also part of our exhibition at Art Centre Belgium in 2014
D!NG represented Elenor's work in our three-year anneversary issue and had the pleassure of interview her at her artist studio in Anwerp, Belgium.
Eleanor Duffin comes from a small town in the southeast of Ireland called Wexford. After teaching English in Japan for a few years, a trip to Australia and moving back to Ireland for a while, she ended up in our little country, Belgium. Now she lives and works in Antwerp. Eleanor has a background in sculpture, but for a long time she worked with digital media. “I used a lot of video and a little bit of photography. Then strangely, a period after my MA, I didn’t really make any art. I taught English in Japan for a few years. I came back and began making videos again and actually started to go in the direction of sculpture installations. I think it was because I got excited to try out different materials.”
Eleanor loves to work with different materials, which is why she often searches for new materials. “I suppose, in the last four to five years, my work has been materially driven.” Furthermore, Eleanor is interested in the history of the materials she works with, and how these materials change or evolve. She researches the materials, finds out what their qualities are and how they are used in different contexts. “This research becomes part of the work. I’m also really interested in the physics of a material as to how it operates and what it can do. Usually, when I find a material, I look it up on the periodic table to try and see the characteristics of it. However as much as you can research and look at the characteristics, it also does unexpected things when you try to work with it. So I try to find that unexpectedness.”
Text by Astrid van Gilse.
Photography by Jolien Dirix.
D!NG had the pleasure of interviewing Charlotte at artist studio in Maastricht, Netherlands.
Charlotte Lagro (°1989), born in Maastricht, makes video installations in which various works have a reciprocal relationship. They are multimedia installations, but start from video or photography. When Charlotte was fifteen her parents gave her a two megapixel camera. Immediately she was sold to photography, she did not want anything else. Charlotte comes from a family of artists so art has always been a prominent aspect of her life. “It’s a language with which I grew up with. So for me it’s a natural language to work with.” However, when Charlotte was younger, she wanted to study psychology. “In retrospect it actually makes sense, because in a certain way my work is about psychology and human behavior, and about how people think.”
Charlotte’s work shows her interest in the people surrounding her. “I always try to include people into my work. As such I ask people to perform in my work, preferably people without experience in performance whatsoever.” Charlotte’s work is inquisitive in the sense that she makes use of interviews or a recorded monologue that functions as a voice-over. But sometimes there is no speech at all. “I want to show a human face behind abstract ideas and abstract knowledge. Sometimes I take that literally by putting someone in front of the camera and film that person. It then may look like a documentary, but it is more free form, more performative.”
An example of this is a video in which we see a mime artist perform in Auschwitz. It is about how we deal with our history and about what is appropriate to show and what not and how it is bound to a certain time period. The mime artist, who is of Hungarian-Jewish descent, is a friend of Charlotte. “We had talked a lot about his own and his family’s past. I had also blended images of the making-of of Jerry Lewis’ film with the images of the mime artist. In 1972, Jerry Lewis, an American comedian, made the film The Day the Clown Cried. The film is about a clown who is arrested during the Nazi regime in the second World War after he had made a joke about Hitler. He was sent to a concentration camp. However, the film was never released because of the criticism it got for dealing with such a loaded subject from the perspective of a clown. It was a display of poor taste. Now, the film lies in some safe, while a lot of film enthusiasts would love to see it.”
In 2015 Charlotte was invited for Skowhegan, a prestigious residency in Maine, in the United States of America. Yearly they invite 65 artists of which are approximately two third Americans, and one third international artists. “There were maybe six or seven European artists. The residency covers a period of nine weeks and focuses on mutual exchange of knowledge and experiences. It is not a priority to make artwork, however you do have a studio where you go to every day.” Part of the program were visits to different studios with known artists, lectures, film screenings, performances and the so-called group crits, which is when a group visits your studio to criticize your work and to help you. “All at once you get so many different understandings of and new perspectives on your own work. In this sense Skowhegan is unique. I learned about the subjects and issues of my generation, such as identity politics, commentary on contemporary culture, dealing with family history in a post-colonial world, sense of community, cultural differences between Europe and America, among others. We also talked about the emotional dimension of art and how you could use irony in your work. I found it inspiring and I am still in contact with the other participants, I even work with them. A few months ago Annesofie Sandal invited me for an exhibition in Copenhagen and not so long ago Mathilde Ganancia and I organized a video night together in the context of my exhibition during BIP Liège.”
“Sometimes my work can be read as a statement, like my armpit hair shaved in a triangle, put right in front of the camera. But I actually always search for a multi-layered narrative.” Charlotte views her work as discussions in which multiple perspectives are brought forward and in which she consciously seeks openness without giving a definite answer. An example of this is the video The Art-shaped Hole In My Heart in which Charlotte’s focus of attention is a special refrigerator standing in an old farm in Skowhegan. She invited artists and art critics to examine the fridge with her. One by one they appear in the scene to look at the fridge from all sides and they wonder out loud. The actual subject of the video is not the fridge but the individual approaches and interpretations of the fridge by the participants. As such the refrigerator becomes an analogy for art in itself. The fridge transcends its status as an ordinary object and becomes the central subject of a layered and in some ways comic reflection on aesthetics. It is also not about Charlotte even though she is the one who set up the work. “I try to let the work receive as many influences as possible, more than I can give it myself.” In creating and capturing her subject Charlotte searches for insights that transcend the here and now and herself. “Anne-Françoise Lesuisse (artistic director BIP Liège) described it beautifully in the catalogue of BIP: The work of Charlotte Lagro functions as a setup of a network that continually evolves, in which dimensions are added to each other and tunnels created between different places, times and contexts.”
Text by Astrid Van Gilse.
Photography by Jolien Dirix.
Julie van der Vaart
You could say Julie is one of D!NG's all-time favourite artist. Since the start, we've worked closely and are now good friends. We had the pleasure of interviewing her before her exhibition in CIAP, in 2016, and represented her work at our first exhibition.
Julie van der Vaart (°1988) was born in Maastricht, the Netherlands, but now lives in Lanaken, Belgium. She completed her master’s degree in Photography at Luca School of Arts (previously Media, Arts & Design Faculty) in Genk. She recently started as a participant at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. 44 Gallery represents her work.
In secondary school Julie studied Maths and Science. She always thought that she would further pursue a career in sciences. But then she decided she would rather learn how to make something than to learn by memorizing. “I had several magazines and I would collect all kinds of photographs. I really enjoyed doing that although I knew nothing about photography. So I started my studies in Photography at Luca on intuition. Of course the first year was a disaster, because I didn’t know how to handle a camera and everything I tried failed.” Eventually Julie made a beautiful portrait of her grandmother after which her teacher said “This is either a lucky shot or you have a talent for portrait photography”. Julie transferred schools from Brussels to Genk and continued her project there. After a few years Julie was done with making portraits, despite her teacher’s breathe down her neck. “I was more excited to experiment with my work, but a lot of experiments failed. When you try things you have never done before it often results in something bad. In the end I graduated with a bad graduation project. I still got good results, but I didn’t think the project was any good.”
After graduation Julie decided that photography should be something of herself, something personal, instead of something to please others. Thus she started to photograph for her. “It resulted in fragmented images, like a journal. It was about holding on to what I hold dear, and creating memories for myself. It ended up as a series which would evolve trough time. Especially nature and bodies were prominent in the photographs, but also death though very subtle, because I don’t think of my photos as something depressing.” Julie likes to photograph in black and white to capture the essence of things. “I do like colors very much, but they give too much information which is a distraction. Furthermore, pictures in black and white create a more melancholic and gray atmosphere.”
Again, Julie’s work is very personal and so were her portraits. The portraits she used to make were not just any portraits. Julie tried to capture emptiness in the gaze of the person portrayed. She did so by letting the person stare at a certain point for a very long time allowing them to enter their own mental world. “I had read a lot about that. It is linked to psychology and meditation.” The portraits she made were also self-portraits. “I tried to express a feeling of my own through the persons portrayed.”
D!NG represented the work of Veerle in our one-year anniversary issue.
Veerle Frissen is Belgian photographer who takes you to places where unlimited daydreaming is possible.
D!NG represented the work of Anna in our three-year anniversary issue.
Anna Hahoutoff is a photographer and member of the Live Wild collective. In 2014 she started documenting the differences as well as the similarities between each and every American state in her ongoing project entitled Americana.
D!NG represented the work of Eva in our three-year anniversary issue.
Eva Donckers (born 1991) has hitherto defined her practice along distinct but rich thematic lines. Her interest lies in socially shared behavior that evolved out of people’s imaginings of perfect lands.
D!NG represented the work of Buren at 'The way we look at the other space' at Contemporary Art Centre Z33.
The collective buren is founded by and exists of Melissa Mabesoone and Oshin Albrecht. In their work they observe subcutaneous sensations and desires of themselves and others. They further observe the way people deal with goods and properties. They explore the promise of happiness and welfare next to exploring unique identities. In their performance – which carries the same name as their collective – buren combines various media. Videos of women carrying out daily activities are shown which reflect the way women are depicted within art history, contemporary art and our society. This results in an installation that refers to domestic architecture that continually changes the space around us. It is a performance in which the audience takes place in the performing space. As such the audience is steered and moved around by the performers’ actions. Buren decided to perform in English to underline the universal character of the artistic content.
Text by Astrid van Gilse
Photography by Jolien Dirix & Leen Hoogmartens
We had the pleasure of meeting Philip for the first time in Cambridge and have been representing his work at our annual exhibition 'The way we look at the other space' and three-year anniversay issue.
Ongoing project LOTUSLAND by Philip Cornett is a continuation of a project that revolves around queer world building and notions of utopia through the medium of video installation art. LOTUSLAND III aims to expand further on José Esteban Muñoz’s book Cruising Utopia, in which queerness is more than just sexuality. Cornett’s installation explores the temporal and physical manifestation of stages as spaces for a utopian queer ideality. The spectator will be able to experience queerness through a refusal of physical presence, but replaced with a digital one. The structure/stage will nurture the opportunity for a dialogue with the spectator that enables them to wonder what a queer ideal could mean, how it is rehearsed within society or also how it is marginalized. For the digital aspect of the work, Cornett was deeply inspired by the video work of Paul Kindersley and Ryan Trecartin. Kindersley’s creative irony mixed with dark humour, and a strong refusal of normative artistic production techniques as well as Trecartin’s frenetic editing style and non-linear narratives have found their way into Cornett’s own practice.
Text by Astrid van Gilse.
Photography by Jolien Dirix & Leen Hoogmartens
D!NG represented Jorden's work at our anual exhibition 'The way we look at the other space' and in our three-year anniversary issue.
Jorden Boulet investigates manners of sampling in social media and he investigates the identity and role of the artist. In social media banality, marginality, kitsch and decadence are strengths to obtain superficial attention and temporal individual recognition. Boulet deliberately uses that same strategy to attract the attention of the spectator. By using an extremely colourful palette he furthermore adds a personal and contradictory aspect to his work: his colour blindness. With this painting, which is a caricature, Boulet offers us a critical reflection of our behaviour. But he also researches ways of how the digital medium and the medium of painting can influence each other. Not only are past and art history echoed in Boulet’s work, but also the present and maybe even the future.