08 September - 13 October 2012
8 September - 13 October 2012
For his second solo exhibition at Art: Concept, Geert Goiris presents a
new series of photographs that mix landscapes, portraits, unknown places
and subterranean worlds. Freeing the subject from its literal
interpretation, Geert Goiris’s pieces manage to somehow act on the
senses and perception of every individual. The spectator looses all
cultural benchmarks and is brought to see and understand forms according
to his own scheme of thought.
At first sight, Geert Goiris’s photographs could be qualified as
abstract because they don’t seem to have any points of reference. Where
have they been taken from?
What do we see? Their shapes and contents aren’t always immediately recognizable.
Space, temporality, line of horizon, top, bottom: everything seems to
be thrown into question. Indeed, some of these images seem to have given
up their identity and refuse to be in relation with the reality that we
hold for normal. Abstraction here not only exists because the spectator
has trouble reading the image, but also because the artist questions
and tries to reverse the effect that is normally produced by the
observation of a photograph. In fact, as Roland Barthes explains in La
Chambre claire, notes sur la photographie (1) by describing the
expression: "it has occurred”, photography usually represents something
that has existed; whereas painting and cinema may sometimes represent
images of the past, but their creative process also holds the
possibility of turning these practices into artistic media capable of
heralding things that have yet to come. To turn photography into an
almost prophetic medium is what Geert Goiris is trying to accomplish,
namely with his photographs of clouds. Recalling John Ruskin’s writings
(2) : clouds find themselves endowed with
psychological aspects that allow them to communicate with those who observe them.
DARKCLOUD isn’t merely an exhibition of pictures taken from unusual
angles of strangely framed scenarios. It highlights Geert Goiris’s will
to displace our relation to signs and their designata and re-think our
concepts and usual thought processes.
Both photographer and a great traveler, Geert Goiris wishes to disorient
us so that our eyes, brain, faith, bad faith, silence, cosmos, subject,
object matters and history find themselves confronted to a bizarre
relationship established between themselves and photography.
As Henri Van Lier explains in his book called Philosophie de la
Photographie (3) : "Far from relating to a given reality, photographic
images question reality and the way it is put on show. Therefore, if
photography can be considered as a spectator’s mirror, it is a mirror
that reflects a sort of fiction of reality, interrogating us on the way
in which we cast our own eyes and question ourselves on the things that
Images produced by Geert Goiris have the ability to displace the values
that rule our way of perceiving reality, which may be just the way in
which we are forced to see it, electing certain things as worth seeing
whilst rejecting others.
Be it an architectural landscape or a mineral one, the image of a closed
up space or a sensitive portrait, a picture by Geert Goiris is always
based on the strangeness of an instant and on the fragility of our
thoughts. The observation of an image becomes more intense when it
contains something extraordinary or unexpected. Such images constitute
the structure of "traumatic realism”; a notion that the artist has been
developing in his work. Geert Goiris achieves this by creating a world
between dream and reality, a mysterious and almost mystical environment
that contains the dramatic accents that incite us to lean down closer
over an unusual reality and on the potential destabilizing strangeness
of anything drawn out of its context.
Traduction Frieda Schumann
(1) Roland Barthes, La Chambre claire, Ed. Gallimard, Paris, France, 1980
(2) John Ruskin, The Storm-Cloud of the nineteenth century. Lectures réalisées au London Institution, 4 et 11
février 1884. Voir éditions Pallas Athene, 2012, preface par Clive Wilmer et intro. Peter Brimblecombe
(3) see Henri Van Lier, Philosophie de la Photographie, In les Cahiers de la Photographie, 1983.