COVID-19 werkbeurs


In the surreal months following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Hélène Amouzou (1969) left Liège to visit family in her native Togo. It was the first time since moving to Belgium 25 years ago that she paid such a long visit to her birth country. The pandemic brought the world to a standstill. To Amouzou, it felt like it had turned back the hands of time.

Amouzou is known for her moving portraits and fleeting imagery. Entre temps (‘Between Time’) is more than just a striking series about her Togolese family and friends. It is a self-portrait. As a migrant, Amouzou often feels trapped between two worlds; between here and there, then and now. Like her earlier acclaimed work Entre le papier peint et le mur (2009), this series is a reflection on identity and belonging.

Amouzou’s choice for analogue photography was a deliberate one. This slow method complements the meditative nature of her work. Entre temps was commissioned by FOMU and created in several darkroom sessions in the museum.

This exhibition is the result of an art commission as part of the COVID-19 grant provided by FOMU in spring 2020 in response to the coronavirus measures, which hit many photographers and artists hard. For the selection, FOMU collaborated with art and photography experts. Hélène Amouzou was nominated by Anne Wetsi Mpoma. Five other artists also received a FOMU grant within this framework, including Mous Lamrabat, Aurélie Geurts, Joud Toamah and artist duo Alexey Shlyk & Ben Van den Berghe.