Bert Danckaert – Simple Present
Bert Danckaert drew the 86 photographs in this book from eighteen cities on four continents. Depending on the spectator’s empathy, his images may be read either at formal or documentary levels, or both. Danckaert turns ordinary, often unrecognizable, fragments of urban reality into extraordinary images that reveal a profound knowledge and understanding of the history of modern art, especially its painterly, narrative, conceptual and constructivist currents.
According to Inge Henneman, former curator of the Museum of Photography in Antwerp and professor of the history of photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the same city: “Bert Danckaert’s bizarre cityscapes deal with the paradox of non-figurative simplicity, as well as with the complexity of meaning and metaphor. His ‘urban still-lives’ breathe a kind of strangeness that can only emanate from the familiar. ‘Found’ sidewalks, walls, and street furniture refer more to minimalist art than to the conventions of documentary photography. In his absurd compositions, a recognizable and banal reality appears as a stage set, props and trompe-l’œil include.”