From Morocco, we know the fascination of Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert. Éditions Louis Vuitton offers the curious another look. Vincent Van de Wijngaard’s. The Dutch photographer reveals a Morocco restored in its light, in its silence and in its intimacy.
Photographing a country creates a habit: needs completeness. How many exhibitions boast of presenting a country or its society in its entirety? In complete visions, prefer the small touches, the subjectivity and the art of constructing a narrative. Vincent Van de Wijngaard’s Morocco is all about movies. It offers a unique but not exhaustive view of the country, unraveled since 1993. A view where light and darkness twirl. Of the admired masters, McCullin, Burrows, Peress, Leiter, Vincent Van de Wijngaard has nothing to envy.
Vincent Van de Wijngaard captures the horizontality of Morocco. These cities almost under the sea, these streets without grandiloquence, without verticality. A country at eye level, where the walls seem to suffocate the inhabitants. This part of Morocco becomes a land of shadows, an atmosphere of glances thrown over the shoulder, a paradox, quite simply. Van de Wijngaard’s works seem to be lost in a whisper. The photographer magnifies the boredom: single women, lonely kids or kids gathered in pack, men hands on the hips … And yet at the turn of a lane, all designed for inaction, a silhouette runs away, kids chase each other. Gravity and silence are opposed to the speed of the eager.
In this atmosphere, men never look up They turn their backs. They stand at a distance, cautious. Van de Wijngaard manages to keep this distance. He never wants to be an actor, and although he claims to be with his camera ” the center of the world”, he knows that the beauty lies in the surroundings, in the recesses of the plastered walls. His Morocco is a flutter and even in the heart, he should slip into his night.
The layout of Éditions Louis Vuitton underlines this atmosphere. The black of the pages supports the solar colors and affirms that to play with color means controlling the penumbra. WithVan de Wijngaard, the indigo sky and the embers walls weave a nice sham, a pleasant pretext. Light is not a revelation, not even a nice pretext. It catches the eye, and when the gaze of the viewer is well satisfied, finally appear the hidden actors.
The real success of the photographer is to show the silence of men, his ruminant thoughts and his unknown trajectories. Vincent Van de Wijngaard achieves this with simplicity.