KT: How did you get into photography? When/What was your first encounter with photograph/collages?
KDB: My first encounter with collages was with the great notebooks of Peter Beard. It’s quite fascinating that apart from being a photographer, he also makes collage notebooks that are a mixture of magazine fragments, parts of pictures, leaves, and animals.
I like the work because of it looks very spontaneous and unique.
KT: Your photography talks about your inner fantasy thereby celebrating your
personal life, body and sexuality. How did you build this special interest?
KDB: It is something that has grown in me since I was a child as a kind of necessity, an obsession. I’m like a sponge, an extremely sensitive person. Creating these works is not a source of joy, but more a neurotic act, without which I would feel unhappy. For me, it’s important to get rid of all distraction, that’s why I like to be at home, with my books, my work, and magazines near me.
KT: “My collages are made of photos, but they are not pictures. I’m using photography, but I’m not a photographer. Or maybe I’m a photographer without a camera” yet you have published three beautiful books ‘Still’, ‘I Do Not Want to Disappear Silently Into the Night’ and ‘Inappropriate Repetitions’. What do you like about photography in a book-format?
KDB: It’s completely different to show your work in a book or to show it at an exhibition. Both have their limitations, opportunities, and difficulties. My job is small, which makes it perfect to print at its original size in a book. One of the difficulties in printing it into a book is that you lose most of the feeling of the old decayed paper.
I like photography in a book for the fact that it’s not limited in time and you can look at the works in the comfort of your home. A good book becomes a work of art on its own.
KT: In one of your interviews you have quoted “I’m not going to add men, the fact that there are no men in my work has a reason of which I became fully aware after the remark.”. Please comment.
KDB: As I said before, my work confronts me with myself. It’s a kind of mirror and tool to explore myself. I’m growing more mature because of what the work is telling me, and the work becomes mature together with me.
To answer your question why there is almost only women in my job, or to say it different: why men are absent in my work? Simple, because they were absent when I was young too, but don’t get me wrong, I like men too.
KT: Your collaboration with Giuliana of French publishing ‘Avarie‘ resulted in a beautiful book with mysterious yet cinematic like collages – ‘I Do Not Want to Disappear Silently Into the Night’. How difficult/easy was it to work together? What was the collaborative process between you and your publisher like?
KDB: It was an intense, lengthy process which took about a year. I travelled a lot of times to Paris where Giuliana was living, and she to Antwerp, where I am living. We got to know each other very well, and I learned a lot about my work thanks to Giuliana. She has a great talent to make associations and connections. Behind every book, she makes a significant concept. Her new book “From static Oblivion” also has this intensity and will be without doubt a great success.
KT: You as an artist work with old magazines, found photographs, objects, dried flowers, cloth and vintage paper etc., exploring the abstract desires of your unconscious. What do you want to achieve with your photography in the end?
KDB: In the end, I hope that the viewer makes his story and finds comfort in these works.
Katrien De Blauwer appears courtesy of Gallery Les Filles du Calvaire