Dirk Braeckman

Year and place of birth: 1958, Eeklo, Belgium Location: Ghent, Belgium

After graduating from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 1982, Dirk Braeckman established ‘Galerie XYZ’ with his photographer colleagues Carl De Keyzer and Marc Van Roy. The gallery, which was the only one in Ghent ever to focus on international photography, closed its doors in 1989. Braeckman initially focused predominately on (self-)portraits, but in the early nineties his style changed dramatically. His images became increasingly autonomous, taking a distance from photography as a medium and its typically reproducible character. By leaving fully-shot rolls of film untouched for years, the artist detaches his photos from their moment of conception. Thus he collects a rich archive of potential works, from which time and time again he draws new images and reworks existing ones. This repeatedly results in ‘original’ versions of photos which, due to their conceptualised ‘reproducibility’, seem to reduce themselves to almost nothing, as though imploding.

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