Gentilleschi

Barbara Vandendriessche
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My photography is theatrical. But ‘theatricality’ is a flexible concept. This is how I define it myself: theatricality is the abstracting and enlargement of reality to evoke emotion in the viewer, not through reason but directly appealing to an approach that can be traced to our ritual instincts. Theatricality as a pre-aesthetic instinct. That is what I try to represent with my photography: how to portray the emotional body tragically? How to create a tragic image that expresses emotion and triggers emotion? Search for images with an intensity, no images with intentions. Images you look at because they tell you something, even if you do not immediately know what. Images that evoke a story, without being narrative themselves. Often with the female body as an expression of beauty.


About
I worked for 20 years as a director and set designer at the theatre. But more and more, photography, which I initially regarded as a sideline, invaded my professional path. I discovered how my experience within the theatre influenced the language of my photography and experienced a sense of “back to basics”, of re-sourcing. In order to be able to clarify this more, I decided to leave the black box in 2017 and tell my story on the basis of photos and sculptures. My photos are staged and focus on physicality, emotion or expression. They look for a physical and psychological vulnerability. My sculptures are a study of damage, both in the use of matter and in the expression of an emotionality. The broken, the damaged, the unfinished and confused are represented in different ways through heads and bodies. Yet there is always a “sparkle”, sometimes figuratively, sometimes literally, perceptible. I create the whole image as a photographer, stylist and set designer.
Barbara Vandendriessche

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