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Seppe Vancraywinkel


Seppe Vancraywinkel, images part of his series Within The Bubble of Surroundings.

Q: In which way is your working method visible or tangible in the energy of the work?

A: At the moment I am mainly working on the project 'Within the bubble of surroundings’. This is about my friends and myself. I shoot in a very volatile and playful way, from, and with a lot of, a certain energy. I ask myself how I can transfer the unique energy of my working method to my audience. I do this in different ways. In the exhibition, for example, I work with different formats and never hang work in a classical manner. This is how I want to get the audience moving. Small formats invite you to come closer, larger images force a viewer to physically distance themselves. I read the works very literally. If someone is high in a tree in the image, I like to hang the image high, on a pillar, for example. In this way, the viewer also has to look up with their gaze. When shooting images from above, I like to hang them below the horizon.

I try to create interaction by, for example, working with a hatch, or printing on other fabrics, such as canvas. Everything to arouse curiosity; can I come here as a visitor or not? I enjoy seeing when a visitor lifts the canvas to see if there's another image hidden behind it. I explore a lot and try to convey that playfulness and curiosity. I extend the relief of the locations in the image, images made in mountains or near water plains, in the scenography and presentation of the photos.

Q: When you make the image, are you aware of it as if it is a public image?

A: I think I work very intuitively. I have an enormous urge to record, but I never start from a theoretical impulse. I trust my gut feeling, my impulses. First comes my life, and then I try to always have my camera with me. I see what comes my way. So I'm not concerned or aware of whether those images are primarily for an audience or not. I take them in first for myself. In retrospect, I like to think. To see what I've done now. First I do, then I think. I then print all the images, look at them, and see that there is something universal behind them. Something that can be further told to an audience.

Q: What is the impact of cheap cameras or instant filters on portraiture in photography?

A: “With better football shoes you can't automatically play better football”, they said to me in the football club. I think that's just the eleventh thing in photography. There must be cheaper cameras. Sometimes it is not good if there is too much respect for the material. This often happens when we work with expensive materials. You have to respect the snapshot, for the portrait itself.

Working with an expensive camera makes me freeze more of a moment. This creates more distance. I force a moment. A cheaper camera helps me to go further, capture the moment; get on with the action and in life. That is essential for me and my work.

For me, it's about the look, what you see. What is the view you share? I want to share what I see through my own eyes. And then I don't care how you do it. I only work with cheap cameras, because they bring me closer to the moment of shooting. It creates intimacy. When I photograph my friends, the camera becomes invisible; we see that as a toy. For example, if I'm on the other side of the river, a friend throws my camera over. And something like this must be possible. In my way of working that is allowed, it should not be taken too much care of. It is only to capture the moment, and then the device is put back down until a new moment presents itself.

Q: Where would you start if you portrayed me in an image? Light? Form? Colour?

A: Karel, I would just go to a cafe with you, go out to dinner, I would get to know you better. I only feel safe, I only dare to photograph someone, when I feel comfortable and have the feeling that I know someone. Only then can I succeed in taking a real portrait of someone. For me, it's very much about the intimacy of the recording, that purity. An honest image is very important.

I see light, shape and colour as technical skills, and I photograph less technically. Just press the automatic function of the device. That speed of capturing the moment is the most important thing for me. Otherwise, I will detract from the moment.

Q: How do you deal with the concept of time and space within your methodology as a visual creative artist - and do you deal differently with time and space within the identity of the images you create?

A: I only graduated two years ago, and I have noticed that technology is very useful. New technology is fun and good for promoting your work, and I have nothing against it. But for me, it is fascinating to create a world where time seems to stand still. Where an aspect of a certain time period, such as Instagram, for example, is not important or leading me. I try, through different elements, to create a timeless image, as if my photos could just as well have been taken fifty years ago. I like to play with this. I work with analogue and in black and white. It's about the image, what happens - the formalities, such as colour, are for me a distraction from reality. I was influenced by the Nouvelle Vague; I find it unbelievable how Godard invites the viewer through his film to step into a completely different world, like a dream, a time machine. I think the use of black and white is a kind of shield for my dreamlike world. I try to select very strictly by avoiding different elements in the picture, such as mobile phones, Bluetooth speakers, Nike shoes and socks; everything that is too strongly connected with this time, I try to leave out. So I make a kind of utopia.


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