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Meet the artists nominated by FOMU in 2020

Futures Photography
July 14, 2020
Our partner FOMU Antwerp selects every year artists to join our platform. We are delighted to introduce the new talents nominated by them for 2020: David Denil, Etienne Courtois, Florine Thiebaud, Katherine Longly, Laure Cottin Stefanelli, Pierre Vanneste, Renee Lorie, Sebastian Steveniers, Sybren Vanoverberghe and Wiktoria Synak.

These artists are joining our programme this year, which includes a series of activities offline and online, such as tutoring sessions, showcasing, and takeovers.

Meet the talents from FOMU:

Work by Sybren Vanoverberghe
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David Denil

With a background in engineering David Denil’s photographical interest started in 2014 by seeing Jacob Riis’s ‘How the Other Half Lives’. Fascinated by the excessive presence of light, the striking compositions and shadows encapsulating daily life in combination with the strategically use of the medium challenged David to explore contemporary subject matter. Within his project Let Us Not Fall Asleep While Walking, David Denil started to translate the psychological dimensions of Ukraine as a collision between past, present and future.⁠ ⁠ Mentored by the Magnum photographer Carl De Keyzer, he chose not to show the war in the east, but to focus on the aspects of life presented to him in the capital Kiev. By his active presence his work functions as an extension on the early 20th century documentary approach and tends to reveal universal questions rather than to depict actual proof of fact.⁠

Etienne Courtois

Etienne Courtois lives and works in Brussels. His work has been exhibited in countries like Belgium, France and the United Kingdom. ⁠ ⁠ "Porosity is probably the concept that best characterises Etienne Courtois’s approach to his photographic work. One of the threads in his creative process is his distinctly plastic treatment of the medium through integrated and often barely noticeable interventions that are both sculptural and pictorial by nature. These interventions are evident in how he prepares his support as well as in the compositions themselves," wrote Emmanuel Lambion about his work.⁠

Florine Thiebaud

Florine Thiebaud is a photographer based in Brussels, Belgium. She has been working around the subject of exile in Greece since 2016. Travelling there regularly, she became close to different people waiting for their papers on the islands, they spent time together, stayed in touch and met on different occasions over the years.⁠

In her projects, she wants to express the interruption of time they experience, exploring the stagnation and repetition, and how it builds up tension in the body and mind.⁠

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Work by David Denil
Work by Etienne Courtois
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Work by Florine Thiebaud
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Work by Katherine Longly
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Katherine Longly

Katherine Longly's personal work is often photographic, but this is not an exclusive relationship. On the basis of her projects, there is very often a question: How do the campers manage the nearness with their peers (Hidden Living)? Why do some Chinese prefer to live in a false Parisian avenue rather than in a traditional hutong (Abroad is too far)? What is the counterpart that urges a person to gulp down mass amounts of food enough to hurt their body (Rotten Potato)? Where is our relationship with food and our body rooted (To tell my real intentions, I want to eat only haze like a hermit)? Behind these questions lies a desire to understand a social phenomenon. And humor is not excluded.⁠

Laure Cottin Stefanelli

Laure Cottin Stefanelli is a French visual artist and a filmmaker. Through her films, photographs and installations, she pursues a research around stories focused on characters inhabited by paradoxical tensions – life, death and erotic impulses – those resulting from the separation between mind and body.⁠

Her work had been exhibited and screened at venues including États Généraux du Film Documentaire (Lussas, FR) ;  KANAL – Centre Pompidou (Brussels, BE) ; Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival (BR) ;  Kasseler Dok Festival (Kassel, DE) ; Moscow Biennal (RU) ; Art Brussels (BE) ; FIDMarseille (FR) among others. Her first medium-length film « No blood in my body » received the short film prize at Écrans Documentaires d’Arceuil (FR). She has completed several residencies including the Hoger Instituut Voor Schone Kunsten, HISK (BE).⁠

Pierre Vanneste

Pierre Vanneste is a photo reporter and director based in Brussels, specialising in long-term projects. He studied photography at INRACI (Brussels) and joins the Hans Lucas studio at the end of 2017. He questions the relationships that man maintains with his environment as well as the social issues resulting from it.⁠

His project "Dremmwel" is, to date, the most ambitious and most accomplished, it will be released at the end of 2020 in the form of a book and an exhibition connected by augmented video content. In 2019, he was awarded the Jean-Luc Lagardère Foundation Photography Grant, to support his new project in progress.⁠

Work by Laure Cottin Stefanelli
Work by Renée Lorie
Work by Sebastian Steveniers
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Work by Wiktoria Synak
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Renée Lorie

Renée Lorie lives and works in Brussel. She graduated in art history, film studies and photography.⁠

Renée captures the light, she show her experience of the world around her. It’s a world full of contrasts. Her images show disharmony, memories in nowadays. Vulnerability, white against deep black backgrounds, day and night, emptiness and fullness. Coolness and heat, burning ice. The present and the absent. She’s looking for attachment, but displacement too. Themes are the mystery, the uncanny, abjection and the enigmatic. Creaking discomfort in down, a sensory touch in a flat image. She shows a glimpse, an error, disturbance, the lyrical. She’s showing distance, yet close framing. She uses the dark room, groping for light. Light traversing trees and water, that lives on the tide during spring tide. Everything is strange, yet daily and known. Trees, water, horse and dew, rustle, a man in a suit, sand mountains and a statue. She’s look around, capturing an image and imagining immediately another image, a walking écriture automatique, a photo novel, a same story. She likes to see the past in the present.⁠

Sebastian Steveniers

Sebastian Steveniers studied Photography at KASK in Ghent. He works as a freelance photographer for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard.⁠

His project Bosfights "threatens the status-quo and reveals our hypocrisy vis-à-vis society: the ubiquity of violence on screens, on our militarized borders and in the increasing tendency to criminalize or pathologise difference has become normal while at the same time we are estranged from our most intimate violent urges. In exposing this, Bosfights is an ode to freedom and an invitation to re-think⁠ what freedom means to us." (Wilco Versteeg)⁠

Sybren Vanoverberghe

Sybren Vanoverberghe is an artist based in Ghent, Belgium. His project Conference of the Birds "is a body of work in which the artist forensically interprets a site in Iran by looking for observable characteristics that may, in photographic terms, provide clues to the decimation of its being. The site, previously burnt to the ground, has been left to a ruinous existence. Vanoverberghe’s response to our need for answers is to look at it through metaphor, sculptural analysis and non-positions of historical interpretation. This is in part what Eyal Weitzman refers to as the “threshold of detectability” — unseen marks, scars and trauma are examined in their minutiae to create a relative document and understanding of place. In Vanoverberghe’s case, he is not looking for finite meaning through the act of observing this site, but rather wishes to illustrate a condition of place and its multiple possibilities for historical representations. If he was not acknowledging a more fluid set of values and meanings, Vanoverberghe would be creating documents in spite of themselves by offering few historical alternatives. In Vanoverberghe’s work, we have the crux of photographic representation with its relative and observable discourse, which is the only discourse suitable for images in which one bears witness. This also encourages elasticity in their historical interpretation." (Brad Feuerhelm)⁠

Wiktoria Synak

Wiktoria Synak is a Polish artists based in Brussels, Belgium.⁠

⁠"My practice mixes photography, physical presence, text, installation and sound. In Ciało [EN body], I want to dig my first communion ceremony up. In this photography series I reframed the pictures taken that day to make a focus on the white dress I wore. The series is associated with current selfportraits I made using my dad’s analog camera – the same one he used to document my first communion ceremony."⁠