Famyly takes its title from a photograph made by the artist, in which she captures this word written in spray paint on a brick wall. The typo can make us laugh, but it also highlights a sense of instability. The flawed spelling throws off our reading and understanding of a familiar word, turning it into a strange and possibly ominous sign.
The history of photography has always also been a history of specters, of hauntings, and of ghosts. The other side of the lens oftentimes also becomes the other side of the mirror: another world to be unveiled, a place beyond the looking glass. While the adage goes that what is caught on camera must certainly have been there (following philosopher Roland Barthe’s famous phrase “ça a été” or “it has been”), who are we to be so sure of this, when our experience of the world is often so fleeting, so ambiguous? Photography and loss go hand in hand: the moment might be captured, yet it is also irretrievably gone. For decades, deceased loved ones were photographed as if still alive, dressed up in their homes. These posthumous portraits were treasured by those left behind, and often prominently displayed on mantle pieces. Allowing at times for a nostalgic flair to grace her images, a longing for intimacy and calm becomes tangible in the work of Chloë Delanghe. The strange or the frightening become the familiar. A warmth radiates through the cold surface of the image.
The exhibition took up two main rooms of_ De Brakke Grond_ in Amsterdam: one held multiple series of image-based works, while in the the other two new digital video works were shown.
- Samuel Saelemakers
Famyly was curated by Samuel Saelemakers, Curator of the Public Art Collection – Middelheim Museum, Antwerp.
De Brakke grond Amsterdam, NL