Transcendence – outside time is a duo-exhibition with Valérie Belin (1964, France) and Kim Boske (1978, The Netherlands). The meticulously crafted images of the artists are united by the subject of exploring transcendence. Belin and Boske approach photography as a material, rather than a medium, placing subjects out of context and time. They strip away the function of representation and search for realities beyond the signified. Their work can be described as trans-semiotic: they use iconic signifiers to challenge the expectation of the viewer and let us rethink the way we inhabit the world. The known categories that normally equip our gaze obtain new meaning, causing their images to dance with transversal energy.
Valérie Belin is one of the most celebrated French photographers working today. In presenting her work in The Netherlands FLATLAND will work closely with the esteemed gallery Nathalie Obadia in Paris/Brussels who has been working with her for years. Initially influenced by various minimalist and conceptual tendencies, Valérie Belin became interested in the photographic medium in its own right; this is at once the subject of her work and her way of reflecting and creating. Light, matter and the “body” of things and beings in general, as well as their transformations and representations, constitute the terrain of her experiments and the world of her artistic ideas.
Known for her photography-based works on nature, Dutch artist Kim Boske is not concerned with the subject of nature itself, but uses nature as a concept since it forms a process of changes and motion. By using multiple layers in her photographic images, Kim Boske tries to place, one layer upon the other, different moments in time. Through these composed images of different visual time fragments, Kim Boske is searching for an autonomous image that represents a state of constant change. In her view time itself is a structure made up of smaller, differentiated structures, just as reality is an unlimited field of differentials, which moves disorderly alongside each other. Positioned vertically, Kim Boske's new photobased work Akui Gawa demonstrates several vanishing points in the river to differentiate scenes and to suggest heavy streams of water, disappearing amidst whitish irregular areas, only to reappear as effervescent currents.
For this show the gallery has chosen to present very large format prints of both Valérie Belin and Kim Boske. For example the works from Belin's China Girls are 173 x 130 cm and the Akui Gawa by Kim Boske measures 282 cm height and 94 cm width. The large sizes enhance the experience of being detached.
Biography of the artists
Valérie Belin received three solo exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris: in 2015, Valérie Belin, the Unquiet Images; in 2014, Valérie Belin & I could never be a dancer and in 2013, MJ6, Spectacles vivants. She was also part of the selection of the MoMA in New York in the show ‘Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography’ in 2010. She was again selected for ‘A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio’ at the MoMa in New York in 2014.
A selection from her significant solo exhibitions include Reflection at the Victoria & Albert Museum (UK, 2019) ; Painted Ladies at the 50th edition of les Rencontres d’Arles (France, 2019); Hungry Eyes at the FoMu in Antwerp (Belgium, 2011) ; Valérie Belin: Correspondances at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (France, 2008) ; the Musée de l’Élysée in Lausanne (Switzerland, 2008) ; the Maison Européenne de Photographie in Paris (France, 2008) and Huis Marseille (The Netherlands, 2007).
Works by Valérie Belin can be seen in leading private and public collections, such as those of the Centre Pompidou, (Paris); Maison Européenne de la Photographie, (Paris); Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain (Paris); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, (Paris); MoMA – Museum of Modern Art (New York), the LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), the Victoria & Albert Museum (London), the Kunsthaus Zurich (Zurich); the Musée de l’Élysée (Lausanne); Huis Marseille (Amsterdam) and many others.
In 2015 Valérie Belin won the Prix Pictet. In 2017 she was honored with the Officier de l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Ministry of Culture and Communication of France.
Kim Boske studied at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague, from which she received her BA in 2005. In 2021 a large solo exhibition will be staged at Tokushima Museum of Modern Art in Japan. In 2019 her work was exhibited in the exhibition Notre Jardin at the Centre Photograpique Rouen, France. Other exhibitions were held at FOAM Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam (Netherlands, 2009); Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland, 2009); Museum Moscow House of Photography (Moscow, 2013); Shanghai Himalayas Museum (China, 2015); Nizhny Novgrorod State Art Museum (Russia, 2013) ; Museum Hilversum (Hilversum, the Netherlands, 2014); Nederlands Fotomuseum (Rotterdam, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2015, 2016); Three Shadows Photography Art Centre (Beijing, 2015) and at the Singapore International Photography Festival (Singapore, 2008).
Kim Boske's work has been selected for the Talent issue of Foam Magazine, the Steenbergen Stipendium (2005) ; the essay prize Royal Academy of Art (2005) ; the Paul Huf junior award (2003) and she was the finalist at the Hyères Photography Festival in France (2011).
Among collections that include her work are those of the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam; AMC Collection, Amsterdam ; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague; LUMC, Leiden and private collections such as Nultien Collection, Rotterdam/Amsterdam, Greven-Blankhart Collection, Utrecht and the collection of Their Majesties King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima, The Hague.
Duo-composition. Left: Kim Boske, Akui Gawa (2020), Archival pigment print on washi paper, 282 x 94 cm
Right: Valérie Belin, Bohemian Glass Cup, China Girls (2018), Pigment print, 173 x 130 cm, courtesy of Valérie Belin, and Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris and Brussels