Imagine there’s no countries
In 1971 John Lennon recorded “Imagine”, a pacifist hymn from which Geert Goiris has drawn the title for his first solo show at Crédac. This title accompanies the image of the exhibition invitation, which the artist created in Ivry-sur-Seine in one of the towers of the Jeanne Hachette Center built by the architect Jean Renaudie between 1970 and 1975 and and which housed the Contemporary Art Center from 1987 to 2011.
Goiris (born in 1971), a photographer, works exclusively with the traditional camera, taking on all of the necessary rigor the medium demands. He manages to capture the strange spatio-temporal weight where time is crystallized. As Goiris explains it, “The camera is an instrument that enables one to produce abstractions, scenes that the eye cannot see. Time is a crucial factor in that. I frequently use very long exposures (lasting several hours sometimes) that make a different, non-anthropomorphic framework possible.”
Goiris aims to record the unusualness and rarity of certain sites with the clarity and precision of Flemish painting, while offering viewers a plus, a range of exotic motifs like a polar station, an observatory, architectural UFOs from the 1970s, a “wish tree”, a cement baobab, a solitary rhinoceros, an albino kangaroo….
Goiris tackles images more as a visual artist than as a reporter. He has been building up an intellectual and perceptible reflection on borders, which has led him to Chile, Mongolia and Spitsbergen. For his latest work focusing on the optical and atmospheric phenomenon of the “whiteout”, the artist traveled to Antarctica.
At Crédac, Goiris will be showing a series of images (displayed in slide shows) that come from such an experience, when the sky is as white as the ground and it becomes impossible to distinguish one from the other, and where observers feel as though they are uniformly surrounded. “It’s not a far cry from a trip on the moon,” says the artist with regard to his expedition. Goiris will also be showing large-scale photographic prints in poster format that are directly pasted to the walls, classically framed photos, and light boxes.
Goiris, the first photographer to figure on the Crédac program since 2004, is thus offering us a show about traces that signify a great deal for him, fleeting or lasting impressions that symbolically point as well towards the very essence of photography.
Claire Le Restif
Born in 1971 in Bornem, Belgium. Lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium.
This exhibition is part of the event Plein Soleil 2009, l’été des centers d’art, a project of d.c.a, the French Association for the Development of Contemporary Art Centers.