John Stezaker: Working From the Collection
Location: Atelier Des Forges
Doux-Amer by Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt is chaotic and dreamlike. Almost every photograph is widely open for almost any form of interpretation. For many photos, it is difficult to describe what kind of emotions they evoke. They are awkward, strange, and unsettling. Some are funny and some are dark. Viewing Eeckhoudt’s work is like trying to describe a dream. The dreamer knows exactly how they feel, but words can never do the dream justice, because no one can interpret things in the exact same way.
Eeckhoudt tends to combine different photographs and overlap them with one another. Several walls contained photographs of different famous people combined with one another. They were humorous but uncomfortable to look at, because together, the faces created one head, but it was an unnatural and inhuman combination. He also had a series of black and white portraits with a smaller color photo of scenery layered over the face, forcing the viewer to compare and contrast humans with nature.
My favorite piece of work by Eeckhoudt was a room that showed a loop video of photos of horses. Each photo flashed by in the blink of an eye, but all of the horses were the same size, same pose, and same framing. The viewer looked at a horse, but could never recall any details of any specific horse because they flashed by so quickly. Like the rest of his work, it was a strange, uncomfortable, and very intriguing experience. Between the colors, shapes, and speed of all of his work, Eeckhoudt’s exhibit creates a dream like experience that is completely different from one individual to the next.