Katrien de Blauwer

Love Me Tender


My collages speak about myself, about what’s keeping me busy. They’re my stories, how I deal with the past. My grip on reality, my ritual and routine. ┌ 

Text: Galerie les Filles du Calvaire for Love Me Tender exhibition presented from May 18 to June 15.
All images  Courtesy Galerie Les filles du calvaire

The artistic practice of Katrien de Blauwer, who lives and works in Antwerp (Belgium), explores the realm of collage. Rather than a category or a compartmentalising genre, this term should be interpreted as a notion of total commitment. Her artistic idyll with collage started early, when, as a young woman, she studied art and fashion. Like a prelude to her current research, her mood books from that period already displayed a compulsive desire for images and for what lies beyond the image, a fascination for the image’s construction. The brushstroke is as terse and precise as a scissor cut. Behind this intransigent “cut,” similar to photomontage and film editing techniques, there is a determination to reconstruct the image, to make a tale arise from it, and to give back to this raw material all its past “glamour.”

She composes these collages from a selection of images found in old magazines. The collages feed off these old, forgotten photographs that De Blauwer recycles, cuts and links together. Hence an unexpected connection takes shape between several figures, between motifs and colours. More than merely formal, these associations are dictated by an immediate feeling and reflect the stimulating paradox of her practice. The choices she makes in the treatment of these fragments in fact relate back to her intimate thoughts, even though she manipulates anonymous images, which, at first sight, could seem to bear no relation to her.

My collages speak about myself, about what’s keeping me busy. They’re my stories, how I deal with the past. My grip on reality, my ritual and routine.” By excluding the gazes and faces of her compositions, she preserves a certain neutrality, a freedom of interpretation which deliberately allows room for whoever wants to imagine themselves inside the image. The narrative and memory potential of the artist’s collages stem from this attention to universality

+ Katrien de Blauwer is a visual collection of Art stories: 
Photo, Cinema, ShortArt.s, Dance

At the beginning it was the idea of building a small arts library. Then, little by little, the commitment to share it.
Choice, preference, ignorance, evidence, all assumed.
A desire to discover, an encouragement to remember. Sometimes.

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Video La Salamandre (1971)  Alain Tanner, Bulle Ogier
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