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Cultuurcentrum Scharpoord, Knokke-Heist, Belgium : Unknown masterpieces – 10 photographers to discover


Currently a number of photo exhibitions are running in Knokke-Heist, and some galleries also show us excellent photographers (unfortunately in some others you will find blatant plagiarism). We have chosen “Unknown Masterpieces – 10 photographers to discover” at the Cultuurcentrum Scharpoord. Once again curators Stephane Verheye and Freddy Van Vlaenderen selected some fascinating unknown talents!

Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker (1966-) has been working on her photographic career for several years now and is receiving deserved international attention. Her own work balances between representation and concealment, between showing and hiding. For this exhibition, she combines images from her archives. Images cannot be read quickly but require effort on the part of the viewer. No fast food, but a spicy slow photography that you savour thoughtfully. Definitely keep an eye out!

Emilie Bonjé (1985-) is driven by a humanist conviction and feelings of compassion. In a subtle call for inclusion, she looks at the other, the “different” and shows us that we are all “different”. His most recent work, Crust, focuses on our largest organ, the skin, which is as fragile as the surrounding nature. A young photographer who forces you to look and think. Its presentation is also striking!

Olympe Tits (1992-) chose to study dance and choreography, but an injury forced her to reorientate herself. Fascinated by images, she taught herself the medium of photography. Her subjects seem frozen in time, as if they were captured in a complex dance movement. Bright colours splash from the images. Her absurd humour borders on the surreal and gives an additional sparkle to the images.

Charlotte Mariën (1992-) has an ethical approach: how do we portray women? And what about the apprehension & censorship that certain social media apply today? She wants to explore the limits of what is acceptable and offers various alternatives in a playful surrealist way. She probably had good lessons in art history: the beautiful series here refers to an Origin of the world, there to Botticelli and elsewhere to Nike of Samothrace or Magritte.

The destruction of a natural reserve in his immediate vicinity motivated Karel Mus (1964-). Moved by these concrete facts, he transforms his images into a universal indictment. His photos have great suggestive power and evoke a feeling of restlessness in the viewer – with him I hope they also encourage real engagement.

For professional photographer Bert Daenen (1970-), his personal work means a step out of the hectic world, withdrawing into the silence of the studio and the slow dialogue between the image creator and model. In this intimacy, he leaves the present and flees into the baroque world of Caravaggio. His images seem to suggest the ultimate silence, an influence of the global pandemic?


Complete list of participating photographers: Bert Daenen, Olympe Tits, Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker, Leen Brands, Anne Verrassel, Charlotte Mariën, Karel Mus, Hannah Moens, Heleen Vanmaele, Emilie Bonjé.


The exhibition website:

Tickets, reservation and pictures of the opening (with interviews of all photographers in Dutch with some passages in French)

Till 30th May


John Devos

[email protected]

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