Present is the renowned Belgian photographer Stephan Vanfleteren’s (°1969) first major retrospective. The general public knows him best for his evocative black-and-white portraits but in recent decades he has produced a wide range of journalistic, documentary and artistic work.
This exhibition provides space for both his iconic images and his equally impressive, lesser-known photographs, which together illustrate the evolution of Vanfleteren’s oeuvre. Throughout his career, Vanfleteren has shifted between action and stillness, heightened human interaction and complete aloneness. His practice as a photographer reflects these dichotomies: travel photography is interspersed with the intimacy of photographs produced in his natural light studio. As time has gone on, quietude and death have increasingly crept into his work. These are elements that are central to two series exploring still life and nude photography, neither of which has been exhibited before.
The exhibition takes over the entire museum and leads the visitor on a journey through Stephan Vanfleteren’s work. Present offers the opportunity to look back on a rich and intense oeuvre with one element in common: the photographer is always present.
Curators: Rein Deslé & Joachim Naudts