Marc De Blieck responds, from his position as an artist, to the question of the originality and meaning of the photographic practice. (...)
In the first place, the artist opts for analogue black-and-white photography. This creates a degree of abstraction, with a focus on shapes and lines. This working method is in keeping with the tradition of monument conservation, with its high-quality publications and pictorial archives. In doing so, he reaches further back in time, suggesting a sense of timelessness and eschewing all notions of tourist photography. The artist, moreover, never brings any form of audience to the fore. Also, the work of art has a three-dimensional character. Our eye can penetrate it or collide with its surface. Our gaze glides further into the space and records all kinds of light effects and perspectives. First, there is the showcase in which the environment in front of, or next to, the work of art is reflected. These reflections blend into each other. This play of light absorbs the pedestals and architectural lines. We become aware that the space is full of energy, bearer of invisible dimensions. The emphatic depiction of the ephemeral reflections in combination with the surrounding emptiness suggests that the motionless work is surrounded by temporal progression and mental activity. Not only does the work embody its own genesis, but also the entire span of time that has passed since then. Worshipped in a temple, hidden under the earth for centuries, then stored in collections, to finally end up in a museum. Yet, in its present form, this museum presentation is also experienced as temporary, even if, in this case, it may span several centuries. Visitors worldwide focus their attention on this work of art; the reflections evoke the mental intensity that surrounds it.
The explicit depiction of the frame of the work of art is continued in the material frame of the photograph. Often, the size of the photograph emphasizes its material character. Finally, the integration of the framed work in the exhibition space adds a final dimension. In some instances it can be observed how actual reflections of the surroundings blend in with the reflections in the photographs. The artist also sporadically applies this pure depiction of a so-called quiet reality to other fields. Which makes his nature photography unique, even within the wide spectrum of this all-too-popular theme. (Filip Luyckx)