Overview participating exhibitions
IN VIVO | the nature of nature
During a day at the beach, Catherine Balet realised that she no longer saw the ocean as soothing but as hostile – full of plastic, chemicals and other types of pollution – while the people around her behaved as if nothing had changed. Here she portrays her fundamental relationship with nature, calling into question the idea – and the portrayal – of pristine nature. For FROM EARTH WITH LOVE, Balet delved into classical painting searching for depictions of the supposed original state of nature and the representation of the Garden of Eden. She translated these depictions to the current state of the environment, placing carefree people in a hostile and polluted natural world. This creates an unsettling image of nature, whereby Balet raises awareness in a playful, parodic way. The black and white images on the wall stand for the harsh reality, the colourful postcards of which show an idealised image.
In her series STRANGERS IN THE LIGHT, Catherine Balet examines the complicated relationship between humans and their technology. Her photographs show the new posture of the ever-reachable, contemporary human, absorbed in the white, digital light of his device. The individuals she has photographed are solely illuminated by the light on their smartphone, laptop or tablet, thus creating a 21st century chiaroscuro effect which seems to refer to classical paintings and the old masters. At the same time, it refers to the historical break with the past, brought about by modern means of communication.
Catherine Balet (France, 1959) began her career as a fine art painter after studying at the École des Beaux Arts, before making the switch to photography just after the turn of the century. Her work has been published in The Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Le Monde and Vrij Nederland. She has published various photobooks, of which Looking for the Masters in Ricardo's Golden Shoes from 2016 was nominated for the Prix du Livre d’auteur at the photography festival of Rencontres photographiques d'Arles.