(in)site Sagalassos: Reframed is the first exhibition on the archaeological site Sagalassos (southwest Turkey). From November 22nd 2008 till January 10 th 2009 the photos will be exhibited at Tweebronnen, Rijschoolstraat 4, Leuven, Belgium.
The past 18 years an interdisciplinary-archaeological team of the University of Leuven lead by Prof. M. Waelkens has been excavating the ancient city of Sagalassos in southwest Turkey. Apart from a selection of images of the recently appeared photobook “(in)site Sagalassos” new work will be presented. Bruno Vandermeulen and Danny Veys offer a new perspective on site-specific photography combining landscape, architecture and portraits. This perspective exceeds the pure recording of the archaeological process and offers archaeologists a new point of view.
From the beginning, photography has been closely linked with archaeology. Nevertheless photography is used at a basic level, as a technique to gather data and evidence. These images are regarded to be objective. In their new work Vandermeulen and Veys translate the archaeological vision on photography to a more contemporary visual language. They use photography as a “mode of engagement”, a practice in which a photo is shaped and constructed by the photographer and not as a practice in which a picture is mechanically taken. These new photographs are nevertheless relevant within archaeology.
When applying photography as practice and not technique the photo looses its objectivity but gains clarity and legibility. The photo is made instead of taken where the photographer makes clear decisions on point of view and frame. These choices reflect themselves in the photograph where not only from the photographer a “mode of engagement” is expected, but also from the viewer.
Within the framework of this project Vandermeulen and Veys approach site-specific photography through several themes or topics. “Fixed Frame” are fixed point of views which are rephotographed during the course of the project. These frames show how an archaeological site or structure transforms during the course of the excavation and show a great wealth of detail. Next to that are “Scales”, which place landscape, structure and people in relation to each other. Through the use of a land camera sharpness and unsharpness is steered resulting in an image where new relationships or links can be formed. “Sequences” are a combination of several images which together form one work. Within this topic the relationship between photography, place and space is explored within the image itself as well as in between separate images.
The exhibition is an organisation of M in cooperation with 30cc and the Tweebronnen Library.
This exhibition is the first event of a three year artistic research project on site-specific photography in archaeology: “(in)site: site-specific photography revised, applied to the archaeological site Sagalassos”. The project is lead by Bruno Vandermeulen (University of Leuven) and Danny Veys (Hogeschool Sint-Lukas). This project is funded by the institute for Practice-based Research in the Arts of the Association K.U.Leuven and partnering the Sagalassos Archaeolgical Research Project, the Lieven Gevaert Research Centre for Photography and the PhotoMuseum Antwerp.