Stieglitz 19

Sybren Vanoverberghe


Conference of the birds

until 30 November















’’Vanoverberghe’s Conference of the Birds is a body of work in which the artist has forensically interpreted a site in Iran by looking for observable characteristics which could potentially declare, in photographic terms, clues to the decimation of its being. The site, previously burnt to the ground has been left to a ruinous existence. This village that Vanoverberghe has documented challenges our need for answers with a solution to look at it through metaphor, sculptural analysis and non-agreeable positions of historical interpretation. This is in part what Eyal Weitzman refers to as the threshold of detectability-unseen marks, scars and trauma become 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. Without 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 in its relative and observable discourse, which is the only discourse suitable for images in which one bears witness, but is which also encourages elasticity to their historical interpretation. ’’ Outtake of Brad Feuerhelm on Conference of the Birds for the publication .tiff ( by FOMU Antwerp)