Stien Bekaert’s ‘Nothing on the left’ is a carefully composed formal play with fragmentary photographs – from found footage to self-made images. Most of these photos would normally be doomed to disappear between the folds of time, if Stien Bekaert did not take care of them, and granted them a new life.
Captivated by handicraft, Bekaert experiments with various printing techniques. She makes etchings, lithographs and monotypes, as well as riso, offset and transfer prints. Through manipulations – such as crops, transformations and blowups – Stien Bekaert deconstructs the images and creates distance. The compositions, the choice of materials and the meticulous assembling of loose sheets into a new narrative, no detail remains untouched. The main objective is to give the viewer a poetic viewing experience. At times lyrical and dreamy, at others uncanny or disquieting. Always ambiguous and permeated with an unfulfillable desire.
‘Nothing on the left’ is a specific selection of silent scenes that evince a sensitivity for postures, imperfections, light, colour and texture. Striking is the attention, aside from the everyday anecdotal, to pure formal abstraction. From straying gestures and locks of hair to foamy water surfaces and seas of clouds. (Sofie Crabbé)