“Sense of Place” – Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR)


Elina Brotherus Still images from The Black Bay Sequence, 2010 60 min 12 sec, HD video (Apple ProRes 422), 16:9, silent. Credit: Commissioned by COMMA at Bloomberg SPACE, London, by Bloomberg LP, 2010

I’ve just visited a wonderful exhibition in Bozar palace – Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels.

Sense of Place is the main exhibition in the fourth edition of Summer of the photography biennial, and an opportunity to discover modern-day photographers and question ourselves about the future of images in our culture.

The 2012 theme is “Landscape”.


Landscape is part of our daily life and has always had a central position in Arts and photography in particular. Always affected by us for industrial purpose, it is today for ecological requirements of our post-industrial society reconsidered as a reflection of our concern for our future.

Sense of Place is a closer look at our relationship with our environment through the eyes of 40 photographers, all coming from member countries of Europe. It’s an explosion of diversity, from North to South and East to West, through Central Europe, unraveling how the environment has shaped our numerous European identities.

The journey starts with The North (The Channel/The North Sea), and so you’ll go from alongside the Sussex coastline and its cliffs rock falls pictured by Jem Southam to steady moments of past conflicts captured by Gina Glover. (“Bunker” is at the top of my list).

(Jem Southam, ‘Vaucottes 2006’ form the series ‘The Rockfallsof Normandy’ , 2006 / Courtesy of the artist and Pôle Image Haute-Normandie, Rouen)


Gina Glover Fortifications, Karosta, Liepaja, Latvia, 2007 Pinhole photograph (Gina Glover exhibition The Hubris of War, from the series Playgrounds of War) Credit: Gina Glover Private collection

Wandering in the exhibition halls, you’ll enter The North (Nordic/Baltic) area from up with Ilkka Halso’s “Rollercoaster”, you will go through “The Door” by Per Bak Jensen.

Ilkka Halso, “Rollercoaster”, 2004 – 100 x 134cm, c-print on aluminum – Credit: Courtesy of artist

Per Bak Jensen “Døren / The Door, 2007”, C-print / Diasec, 165 cm x 205 cm (including frame) Credit: Courtesy Galleri Bo Bjerggaard

Central (East/West) will take you under the waterline in the amazing partly sub-aquatic captures by Andreas Müller-Pohle before diving in the ruins grounded in the utopian ideas of past ages, where different populated areas collides. Gàbor Arion Kudàsz “Cemetery” invites to a halt within Central (Austro/Hungarian) earth.

Andreas Müller-Pohle “Dunaujváros” 1953 – Hungary 2005 – C-Print 60 x 85 cm – Courtesy of the Artist

Picture 001

Arion Kudasz “Cemetery”, Latvia, 2008 100x84cm, c-print, aluminium, wood, glass Credit: Courtesy of the artist and Zsófi Faur Gallery

Going South (Mediterranean/Atlantic) will be your next stop. “The sleep of the reason 1-12” suite by Pedro Cabrita Reis has its left half covered with orange paint. Those are naked landscapes and open spaces at the edge of the sea, roots or bare branches of trees, and for the most express a dead animal on the beach. It refers to a reality rooted in regional identity and a real interesting work; I loved it and passed by it several times.


Pedro Cabrita Reis – The Sleep of Reason, 4th series (Orange) #1–#12 2009 Acrylic on photo mounted on aluminum 49,5 x 75 cm © Pedro Cabrita Reis

Your trip will end in Southern (East Mediterranean) lands, with an intersection of tradition as depicted in Nicos Philippou’s “Easter bonfires” and Modern Mass human communities by Massimo Vitali, tenderly questioning our taste for instinctive human conformities. His “Riccione diptych” is my favorite in this exhibition.

Nicos Philippou “Untitled”, From the series Holiday Homes 2011 – Credits: Courtesy of the artist


Massimo Vitali Riccione Dyptich, 1997 C-print under plexi 180 x 150 cm Credit: Courtesy of the Artist[/wide]
This biennial covered a wide variety of locations in Belgium, all of them united in the aim of valorizing photography as a true medium and Belgian creation worldwide.

More info here: www.summerofphotography.be

Other Summer of Photography exhibitions sheltered @ Bozar:

• Lara Dhont “Public space as Playground“, part of the Junctions series which allows a contemporary photographer to put together an exhibition using FotoMuseum’s collections in combination with her/his own work.

• “The PÔZE IV project” building a bridge between Bozar’s current photography exhibitions and work by a collective of amateurs that criss-crossed various districts of Brussels at night, capturing its urban landscapes and the city’s outskirts. A big ++ for this one, really worth being discovered, although the access is difficult to find. Ask the ticket desk if you don’t find it.

• “Here, Anywhere”, work by Tamas Dezso.

Nikon Press Awards, the only official prize for press photography in Belgium.

These exhibitions are accessible till 16th September 2012, so you’d better hurry if you wanna have a chance to see it.

Only a step away from Place Royale and Central Station

Enjoy your visit and share with me what you liked the most.

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