JURY'S CHOICE

 

Katrien de Blauwer

Lives in Belgium

 

www.katriendeblauwer.com

 

 

 

As best I can remember, my relationship with collage started very young. When I finished my fashion design studies in Amiens, my first experiments were simple notebooks, mood books made up of fragments from magazines. I now see them clearly as a prelude to my practice.

 

The works I am presenting here for the Prix Virginia are a meticulous summary of a practice that is nonetheless spontaneous. I have attempted to associate the shapes, lines, and sometimes colors of each of my collages that they might, despite their singularity, exist together and communicate. I like to describe myself as a photographer without a camera, offering a second reading of existing images. My sources are these forgotten photographs that I recycle and bring together. They regain, through the act of collage – similar to that of montage – all of their lost vibrancy.

 

Starting with a selection of images collected from old magazines, I compose collages. In this way they emerge from the unsuspected connections among several figures, among the motifs and nuances that I cut, paste, and cut again. More than simply formal, these associations are dictated by my feelings and reflect the stimulating paradox of my practice. Indeed, the choices I make in the treatment of the fragments represent my own personal life, though I manipulate anonymous images that are at first sight distant from me. By banishing gazes and faces from my compositions, I maintain a certain neutrality, a freedom of interpretation that voluntarily leaves space for anyone who wants to position themselves within them. From that concern for neutrality emerges the narrative and memorial potential of my collages.