Can I take your picture? What is your favorite artwork by a woman artist? Can the art world be photographed? An exhibition at KIOSK Ghent

April 1 — June 4, 2023

Felipe Dmab
Olivier Vandervliet
Kasper Bosmans
Yves Gevaert
Tom Engels
Raimundas Malašauskas
Bas Hendrikx
Dirk Snauwaert

Considering their practice within the art world addresses the issue of how art is (re)presented or how art can be seen, I asked Yves Gevaert,Tom Engels, Raimundas Malašauskas, Kasper Bosmans, Felipe Dmab, Dirk Snauwaert, Olivier Vandervliet, Bas Hendrikx and HC (Friedemann Heckel & Lukas Müller) in this second series of the portraits. The profile of these men is very diverse. They work as publisher, curator, critic, gallerist, or artist, thus each of them is dealing in a different and sometimes personal way within the system of the art world. 

The portrayed are sitting in front of a black velour background, a light absorbing surface. High-quality equipment and professional lighting, bring life to the smallest detail in the razor-sharp photographs. The portrait series expresses the objectification of and the fascination for the other, two aspects that are historically linked with portrait photography. 

Yet what intrigues me most about making these portraits is the response of the sitter to the question of what might be their favorite work of art by a woman artist. Among the artists: Agnes Martin, Moyra Davey, Candice Lin, Ghita Skali, Erika Verzutti, Elise Van Mourik, Barbara Kruger, Rita McBride and Adrian Piper. These rather personal choices are in turn documented and (re)presented as part of the diptych. They are photographed with similar formal and technical choices that I used for the portraits. 

Furthermore, I am interested in the context of the exhibition and publication of these works. In how they can be seen in this rather accidental situation. Because, to a certain degree, the premise of this double series limits my role as ‘curator/editor.’ I did not select the works of the women artists. But I did select the sitters and took care of the (re)presentation of the portraits and the works. 

Kristien Daem 

Exhibition curated by Simon Delobel