Frans Beerens

Material Photographs

10 January - 8 March 2015

Frans Beerens discovered the potential of photography in 2005, while working on the monograph Slakkensporen (Snail Tracks). For this book he himself carried out the photography of his stacked objects and assemblages, showing great concern for lighting and texture. He concluded the book with a series of landscape photographs.

In these Menselijke sporen (Human Footprints) he records dilapidated homes, wastelands, a pigsty in Slovakia, a wall of piled stones in Ireland, an exhausted mining region in Spain. All are places and situations that haven't been conceived, but have come about in an organic way. 

The traditional photographic image, printed on paper, is often considered 'too flat' by him. When visiting Florence in 2007, he discovered a solution to this problem in a workshop where carpets are restored. Here he arrived at the idea of a 'material' photographic image: a photograph that has been converted into a woven carpet. At the TextielLab in Tilburg he investigated the possibilities of the weaving machine and devised a system of 460 greys that could be managed by the computer. There he also discovered the qualities of the different types of threads: how goat's wool, being more fluffy than sheep's wool, yields beautifully soft surfaces; while linen renders a distinct texture, and silk allows for an even finer delineation. Through the texture of the weave, he brings abstract depth to photography. The photographic images thereby acquire a material surface that closely resembles the tactile quality of that which is photographed.