The city of Ostend is organizing a Photo Biennal : (IN)FLUX until November 12, with more than 30 (inter)national photographers in 23 locations, chosen by curator Stephane Verheye. Thanks to Bart Ramakers who made this presentation.
(IN)FLUX – a true anthology of contemporary photography
The International Photobiennale in Ostend is hosting for the second time a series of renowned photographers from around the world in the Queen of the Beaches. In one way or another, they are all influenced by other forms of artistic expression – which is why this second edition of the biennial is titled (IN)FLUX – but their work couldn’t be more diverse. A true anthology!
Too much talent
Among them are two artists from the United States: Joel Peter Witkin and Peter Lippmann (although the latter lives and works in Paris). The other artists mainly come from Europe because, according to curator Stephane Verheye, there is simply too much talent here to be ignored. “This is already evident in the Belgian selection. It is truly world-class. There are veterans like Karel Fonteyne, Tony Le Duc and Diane Hendrikx, but also young talents like Athos Burez, Marie Wynants and Mous Lamrabat. If you look at the journey they have undertaken in recent years, it is truly impressive.”
The theme of the second edition, (IN)FLUX, is as simple as it is astonishing. Verheye sought out photographers who have a strong connection to other forms of art: “Julia Fullerton-Batten clearly draws inspiration from cinema, Marie Wynants evidently comes from the world of dance, Tony Le Duc is heavily influenced by painting, and you wouldn’t believe how many photographers tell their stories using chiaroscuro or other painting techniques: Olivier Valsecchi, Bart Ramakers, Jenny Boot, Geert De Taeye…”
How is this possible? It surely has something to do with the fact that photography is still a young art form. But it is clear that a large number of these photographers were selected because the curator focused on staged photography. The invited photographers are already involved in art: they visit exhibitions and art fairs, their works are shown in museums, they know what’s going on and position themselves within a great tradition – or they question it.
Ingenious Set Designs
This ultimately led to a very strong selection of 32 photographers in 22 very diverse locations: a church, a fort, museums, but also in public places such as parks, the beach, the dike… no one can visit Ostend without catching a glimpse. It immediately becomes clear that the curator and his organization have paid a lot of attention to the set design of the exhibition: Julia Fullerton-Batten’s monumental paintings form a perfect symbiosis with the Anglican Church, Athos Burez’s still lifes and other works reference James Ensor’s works in the Ensor House. In MuZee, Aglaia Konrad presents her Kammerspiel, a work in dialogue with the exhibition space and its architecture, while Peruvian artist Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker takes the viewer into an obscure world between fiction and reality next to the works of Belgian photographer Karel Mus in the old church tower ‘De Peperbusse’.
Among the 22 locations are 6 galleries, each with a completely different approach. AHWNN showcases young Belgian photographers Hannah Moens, Jyoti Dresselaers, Luana Masala, Nick Verhaeghe and Neoza Goffin. Noir de Noir has a solo exhibition featuring the works of Norwegian artist Kjetil Karlsen, reflecting melancholy, solitude, and abandonment. CAS has given complete freedom to Lieven Lefere to install his work next to Guda Koster’s. Rami Hara – a young Somali with a remarkable body of work – is exhibiting at Oever, and Swedish-Rwandan photographer Luc Gatwa is featured at Theobalds Boothuisje. Finally, at Galerie Papillon, you will find the recent work of Bart Ramakers alongside his great inspiration Joel Peter Witkin (who also has a parallel exhibition in Fort Napoleon).
Even those who never enter a museum or gallery will still be surprised by photography: the poetic works of Stephano Bonazzi breathe the sea air on the ‘Small Beach’, the reflections of Bara Prasilova on the relationship between nature, culture and man speak vividly to us at the “Drie Gapers”… Jenny Ymker shows us works in the Royal Park, a place where some of them have been created, Luca Izzo questions the artistic structures and boundaries of the 20th century on Avenue de la Reine. Giorgia Bellotti (alias Giorgibel) shows her refreshing dialogue with the work of René Magritte on the dike near the Venetian Galleries.
In Central Park @ Sea, the highly architectural photographs of Soo Burnell (UK) offer a beautiful contrast with the new constructions around, as well as the delicate and Baudelairian still lifes of Peter Lipmann, which amaze on Place Princesse Stéphanie with their baroque complexity and ingenious luminosity.
You want to have an overview in a few minutes? Just walk through the New Galleries, where 29 panels show you all photographers and all locations.
With this second International Biennale of Photography, Ostend confirms its aspirations as a cultural city on the Belgian coast this autumn. There is nothing more pleasant than strolling, walking, visiting, admiring the exhibitions, the photographs, the sea, the restaurants, the terraces for a weekend or a midweek!
The second edition of the International Biennale of Photography in Ostend takes place from September 16th to November 12th in over twenty indoor and outdoor locations in Ostend.
This edition emphasizes the connection with other forms of art. Each photographic work reflects the theme (IN)FLUX in a unique, contemporary, and insolent manner.
Locations: Fort Napoleon, Mu.ZEE, the James Ensor House, the Amandine, the Anglican Church, the Peperbusse, Leopold Park, the New Galleries, the Small Beach, Place Princesse Stéphanie, Royal Park, the Place de la Gare, Central Park @Sea, the Zeeheldenplein, the ‘Drie Gapers’, Avenue de la Reine, CAS (Contemporary Art Space), Theobalds Boothuisje, AHWNN (A Horse With No Name), Noir de Noir, Papillon gallery, Oever gallery, and the dike.
Except for the Amandine and the Peperbusse, all exhibitions are accessible to people with reduced mobility.
Tickets: €15 (all indoor locations, except for Mu.ZEE), €15 (Mu.ZEE), €26 (all indoor locations + Mu.ZEE)
Tickets are available at Fort Napoleon, the Ostend tourism office, or on the fotobiennale.be website. Children under fourteen years old have free admission (except for Mu.ZEE). Young people under twenty-six can benefit from a reduced rate.
Tickets for Mu.ZEE are only available at Mu.ZEE or on the fotobiennale.be website.
All outdoor locations and galleries are free for everyone.
Joel-Peter Witkin, Julia Fullerton-Batten, Mous Lamrabat, Marie Wynants, Stefano Bonazzi, Jenny Ymker, Athos Burez, Bara Prasilova, Aglaia Konrad, Karel Fonteyne, Jenny Boot, Tony Le Duc & Diane Hendrikx, Olivier Valsecchi, Luca Izzo, Giannina Urmeneta Ottiker, Karel Mus, Giorgibel, Geert De Taeye, Soo Burnell, Peter Lippmann, Bart Ramakers, Kjetil Karlsen, Lieven Lefere, Guda Koster, Hannah Moens, Jyoti Dresselaers, Luana Masala, Nick Verhaeghe, Neoza Goffin, Rami Hara and Luc Gatwa.