Several Persons

The hanging of photography (Classes from February to May 2015)

Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Brussels

Photography section (under the direction of Chantal Maes)

The objective of this course is to reflect on the way you present your images, in order to determine what form of scenography best serves your purpose. Which scenography of your photographic work, for which space? The focus of the reflection that we will develop together will of course be your final jury. We will see to what extent I will be able to support you until the end of this final exhibition, or if I will leave you at the doors of it. In the latter case, my goal will have been to give you the necessary tools to adapt to a given place and to deploy your work with the most strength possible. What you will do afterwards, from exhibition space to exhibition space.

Here is a brief presentation of the four sessions I propose (this can still be adjusted as we go along, but the gist is there).

* Class 1: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 (starting at 9:45 am)

In this first class, I will review each of your respective portfolios to discover your work that I am not yet familiar with. You will present the gist of it to me, and I will give you feedback on what appears to me at first glance, just as it happens in jury, except that it will be less solemn and there will be no grades at stake of course. I will spend about 30 to 45 minutes with each student. For ease of reference, we will go in alphabetical order to determine the order in which each student will appear. Feel free to be there early, so we can adapt.

* Class 2: Tuesday, February 24 (starting at 9:45am)

For this second meeting, I will ask you to do some preliminary work consisting of research and visits. During our meeting, we will analyze the fruit of this preliminary work, so it is essential that you have done it beforehand (you can start as soon as you read this letter, no need to wait until the end of the first class to do it, as it may take some time).

So I ask you to bring me, so that we can discuss it:

- Archival images of your past hangings, whatever they may be (even if there was only one image in one place, or in a group show).

 - A collection of at least 50 photos of exhibitions found on the Internet identifying at least five ways of hanging photographs (to be taken in the broadest sense, the presentation of photographs today including a multimedia dimension, a sculptural dimension etc.). I hope that through this research, you will question what exists as a diversity of hanging practices, even if they are a priori far from those that you usually implement.

- Finally, I would like you to take a tour of the galleries/museums in Brussels and to take pictures of at least three exhibitions in which three different hanging policies are implemented. It is not absolutely necessary that they are photography exhibitions. If other types of works are exhibited and you manage to highlight, through your photographic report, the scenographic logic that presides over the exhibition, the goal will be reached.

Here again, we will meet individually, for about thirty minutes, this time in reverse alphabetical order, for a change.

* Course 3 (date to be determined).

This third class will be more practical: we will test a concrete presentation of your work in the studio space (and/or in a specific space of the school, such as the second floor gallery where some juries have previously been held). The idea would be to have two students always busy: while one is presenting me with his test hanging, the other is preparing his in the other space, and then the first one picks up and makes way for the next, while I see the other. We'll confirm this process later, but this will probably be it.

For this test exhibition, I am asking you to bring prints of your work that are a priori of low quality. These prints should be at least three different sizes, so that we can gauge the impact of your images, depending on their size. There is absolutely no need to spend a lot of money on these prints. Low quality black and white prints will do just fine. It's really the size issue we're probing here (from smallest to largest); which is why you might want to give yourself the freedom to test your images in a size you're not used to. Of course, if you have any color test prints that you're circling around this year, bring them along too, so we can test them similarly.

In addition to the B/W prints, you may want to bring a projector, electric spotlights, or other hanging devices that you may be thinking of.

Also, a very important practical note: bring all the hanging materials you will need (water level, tape measure, clamps, lath, tacks, and so on). Don't rely on others or on the school, get used to being independent. You are never better served than by yourself.

* Course 4 (date to be announced)

For this last class, I will probably be with you in the exhibition space you will have found for your final jury. I will then be there to guide you, on a case by case basis, in the space in question. If the venue is not yet available, we will look at your jury preparation together at the workshop, and make final adjustments.

So the wind won't blow it all away (Class of March, 24, 2014)

National School of Visual Arts of La Cambre, Brussels

Drawing Section (Under the direction of Denis De Rudder)

Dear Ida, Sarah-Louise, Simon, Jim, Marie, Juliette, Nicolas, Laurent, Inès, Colin, Alexis, Martin, Olivier, Joao, Louis and Léa,

As I sit here on August 1st, 1979, my ear is pressed up against the past as if to the wall of a house that no longer exists

The next class will be held on Monday, March 24, 2014. Between now and then, I would like you to make a new work in the city, or on the edge of it.

I can hear the sound of redwing blackbirds and the wind blowing hard against the cattails.

It can be a t-shirt that you make and wear for a day, a sticker of two square centimeters that you place clandestinely on street lamps, a drawing on the ground with chalk, an installation made in a waterproof box immersed in the depths of the ponds of Ixelles, a watercolor delivered to the mercy of the rain, a text whose subject will have come to your mind when you get out of the pool. In short, the project of your choice, as long as it fits in with the path you're on and makes sense to you.

They rustle in the wind like ghost swords in battle and there is the steady lapping of the pond at the shore's edge, which I belong to with my imagination.

When the day comes, I invite you to bring the documented traces of this project as well as your latest studio drawing. We will talk about both at these meeting times:

Lea (12:00), Louis (12:20), Joao (12:40), Nicolas (1:00), Jim (1:20), Laurent (1:40), Martin (2:00), Olivier (2:20), Sarah-Louise (3:00), Simon (3:20), Marie (3:40), Juliette (4:00), Alexis (4:20), Colin (4:40), Ines (5:00), Ida (5:20).

So the Wind Won't Blow it All Away, Richard Brautigan