Thursday, December 18, 2008

Bertien Van Manen's Give Me Your Image

I've been looking at Bertien Van Manen's proect Give Me Your Image quite a lot lately, as, in certain fundamental ways, it relates to the work I'm currently doing on my heritage. Her photographs of photographs explore fragments of familial and cultural history through the pairing of antiquated imagery and contemporary environments.

The images do suffer, however, from a tension between the images Van Manen photographs and the final images she produces. As it was astutely noted in a review for Van Manen's monograph over at 5B4:

"I was initially seduced by this work but after repeated viewings I’ve started to find it lacking for a few reasons. First and the most obvious is that, in most of these photographs, it is the photo in the picture that is most interesting. Van Manen often fails to make a more interesting image out of what she is looking at."

From Top To Bottom:

Prague, 2004

Munich, 2004

Sofia, 2004

Stockholm, 2004

Moldova Man, 2004

All Images © Bertien Van Manen