In this installation people look at people. Visitors are presented with a roll of portraits that unwinds like an analogue film. The portraits closely resemble the passport photos required for official documents. Each face has a (sub)title that describes how this person is seen. This description provides a framework, directs the gaze, and remains incomplete. facing faces is a proposal that invites us to think about how we see, each other. What happens in our minds when we look at the people around us every day?
The second part of facing faces consists of an installation that shows the visitors’ faces, along with descriptions of how they saw each other and were seen themselves. Each time the performance is given, two faces and viewpoints are added to the series, which results in an archive of faces for which the performance was the starting point.
For this work the initial role with photos remained the same, but the accompanying texts have been recreated several times.
“I got the idea for facing faces when I found a stranger’s passport photo. I was intrigued because passport photos have a specific yet very universal context. We all have a passport photo, we all fit into this rectangular frame. What also fascinated me was the sense of disinterest conveyed by the photos. Like the fourth wall, that separates actor and audience. The sitter must keep their eyes open but isn’t really looking. In facing faces the people in the first photos on the roll gaze into the distance but as the performance progresses, the faces seem to look back at you. They seem more alive, as if the camera caught them blinking or in mid-sentence. It’s a snapshot, the photos taken before and after the ‘official’ passport photo.
The faces on the roll are of people I’ve met at some point in my life, from a close friend to the guy who delivered the food while we were taking the photos. The faces aren’t a reflection of society, they aren’t representing all people. Also this project isn’t so much to me about exploring judgements or prejudices, but more about noticing and following the irreversible thoughts that pop up when you look at someone, and the relationship between image and word.”
Vivian Keulards, Milan Meeuse, Jasper Delbecke, Studio Noto, Tim Bogaerts, Atelier Provinciaal Domein Dommelhof, Festival Cement, VIA ZUID, Stichting Brand Cultuurfonds, SoAP Maastricht
2017 21 – 26 Mar Festival Cement, Den Bosch (NL)
2017 25 – 26 Apr Ainsi, Maastricht (NL)
2017 16 – 19 Aug Zomerparkfeesten, Venlo (NL)
2017 20 – 27 aug Cultura Nova, Heerlen (NL)
2017 14 – 17 Sept Grand Theatre, Groningen (NL)
2018 14 – 17 Dec Winternights, Maastricht (NL)
2018 5 Feb Het Huis Utrecht, Utrecht (NL)
2018 2 – 12 Aug Festival Boulevard, Den Bosch (NL)
2018 22 – 23 Sept C-TAKT Festival, Genk (BE)
2018 27 Oct Brainwash, Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)
2018 22 – 24 Nov Jonge Harten, Groningen (NL)
2019 11 Nov Full Moon Focus: In Frames, Brussels (BE)