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Fr | NL


5/06 -1/09/2019

Closed from 15/07 to 15/08/19 incl.

Alterity means “otherness”, that which is outside our individual selves. At first glance, this overall meaning might appear straightforward, but if we look more closely, a series of parameters are revealed which, on the contrary, demonstrate the complexity of this idea and, astonishingly, evoke the photographic process itself.

Let us begin by the fact that our awareness of the “other”, that which is not ourselves, leads us inevitably to re-evaluate our own identities. The “other” leads us directly to question what we consider as making up ourselves, through our similarities and differences to it. This identity is not simply an opposition of nature, explains Patrick Colin, it is based on a relationship. In the world around us, a specific phenomenon of being exists, which represents the ultimate paradox of otherness: something that is both identical and different. This specific phenomenon of being is the human other, the other that resembles me and is not me, my alter-ego.1

There is a mirror effect from the “other” to ourselves which is not dissimilar to that produced in photographs. As it reflects the world, this mirror image also simultaneously reflects its author and the irreducible uniqueness of his or her perception.

Moreover, the realisation of the “other” - or “others” - induces a variety of possible responses, ranging, as Angelo Turco explains2 , from hospes to hosties, from co-operation to hostility, from becoming closer to becoming more distinct, from acceptance to rejection. For a true meeting with the “other” to occur, we have to initially become closer, depending on the desire or will to recognise our similarities ahead of our differences.

Thus, once again, this decision to get closer also resembles that in photography, in that it imposes a similar decision on both the photographer and the audience, to go and see, or, at the least, to approach or, indeed, to get closer. And if we form a mere representation or image of the “other”, let us hope that those formed by the different bodies of photographic images brought together in this exhibition will contribute to a reduction in the barriers between them and ourselves, between (all) the “others” and ourselves, so that in its physical, mental or cultural differences, the “other” remains accessible by us and continues to require us to (re)define ourselves when we come into contact with it.

Danielle Leenaerts, Curator. Translation: Chris Bourne.

1 Patrick Colin, «Identité et altérité», in: Cahiers de Gestalt-thérapie, 1/2001 (n°9), p. 53.

2 Angelo Turco, «Altérité», in: Jacques Lévy, Michel Lussault (sous la dir. de), Dictionnaire de la
géographie et de l’espace des sociétés
, Paris, Belin, 2003, pp. 58-59.


ANTONIO JIMÉNEZ SAIZ | No nos aprenden a morir

© Antonio Jiménez Saiz, series No nos aprenden a morir, 2017

It’s in shades of grey that Antonio Jiménez Saiz finds the nuances of a complex reality, not entirely situated in life, nor in death, but rather in the temporality of someone who only has a few scraps of memories left. This is evoked in the title of this portfolio and book: No nos aprenden a morir, a strange mixture of Spanish and French (frañol), that translates as “They don’t teach us how to die”.
The photographer adapts this story into a fable on memory loss. Some more abstract images, with strong elements of black, indicate moments of silence and forgetting. From this relationship with the other, the photographer retains moments of pleasure and complicity, derived from the interplay inherent in photography. Thus, he develops an individual story into a wider reflection on otherness and memory. The universal nature of this reflection is also supported by the androgynous nature of the person he photographs.

LIONEL JUSSERET | Kinderszenen

© Lionel Jusseret, sans titre, series Kinderszenen, 2011-2017

In the 13 chapters of his portfolio Kinderszenen (Scenes of Children), Lionel Jusseret sets off on a dreamlike journey that is simultaneously naïve and disturbing, and often mysterious. This long series of images portrays children said to be “autistic” in a way contrary to “contemporary media polemics”. As they enjoy a holiday in the countryside, far from the violence of walls, the photographer examines them anthropologically and poetically. He develops an unusual commentary, built on his profound respect for otherness, which forms an integral part of his creative process and reveals itself in half-improvised reactions and more human and natural moments. Lionel Jusseret asks his audience to question its perceptions of autism, which often lack poetry and innocence.

With the help fom l'Estacade and Vocatio Fondations.



FANNY LE GUELLEC | Têtes perdues

© Fanny Le Guellec, series Têtes perdues, 2015

Fanny Le Guellec, who combines photography with teaching, is interested in themes such as madness, marginalisation and otherness. In this portfolio («Lost Heads»), she examines La Bastide, a residential centre for around 20 adults with special needs, including some with psychological disorders.
In some cases, their families have asked the centre for help. The photographer has built up a special relationship with the centre’s residents and uses her camera’s images to chronicle their day-to-day lives and their feelings. She thus restores the identities of these people who have been deemed “unsuited to life in society”, because they behave in ways that are outside normal boundaries.
Fanny Le Guellec’s work is a dialogue with otherness, where preconceived notions of normality are constantly challenged.

MICHEL LORIAUX | Seul avec les autres

© Michel Loriaux, series Seul avec les autres, 2015

Michel Loriaux takes his photographs in places where nobody would normally think of setting foot: such as among a group of homeless people managing their own settlement on a slag heap, or women alone on their agricultural land, or, in the portfolio La Porte Ouverte (The Open Door), a group of autistic and psychotic young people. The photographer seeks to evacuate communal places to allow space for decisive moments, as evoked by Cartier-Bresson. These moments are moments of otherness, observed by the photographer over a period of two years, sharing many moments with these children, with a desire to be accepted without imposing himself. Michel Loriaux leaves the setting up of his images to his subjects, and thus manages to capture the identities of those he defines as “alone with the others”.

Texts: David Grançon. Translation: Chris Bourne.

SABINE MEIER | Autoportraits

© Sabine Meier, Me voyant d'où il me voit (reconstitution) - Marseille - 9M15, 2000

“Between 2000 and 2006, I made a series of 32 self-portraits.
Nothing had predestined me for self-portraits: as a human being I wasn’t very interested in photographing humans - including myself - in fact this idea was paralyzing me.
The first self-portrait Me voyant d’où il me voit (reconstitution) - Marseille - 9m15 was part of a project to recreate an event of which I had been one of the protagonists 13 years earlier. I positioned myself where I stood and set up my camera where the other one involved was. In the end, the cord, which is visible in the image, became the main subject.
It makes the relation of two entities visible: the one who sees and the one who is seen.
The self-portrait is dedicated to another, but filled with deep melancholy, because the other one is always missing, shifted in space and time.”

Text and translation: Sabine Meier




Cité Fontainas, 4A
1060 Saint-Gilles/Brussels.
Tél.: 00 32 (0)2 538 42 20

Open from Wednesday to Friday, from 12 to 18h,
Saturday and Sunday, from 13 to 18h, except on public holidays.
Closed from 15/07 to 15/08/19 incl.
Free entrance.

Photo: Kim Zwarts.