Image: detail, Earth-Sinking-Into-Water
My work balances the thin line between documentary and fiction; historical research fuses with personal and fictive narratives. Images are shown in an exhibition installation, designed and built by myself specifically for the site and in relation to the project itself. The images and installation tend to establish a dialogue between themselves as well as with the audience, instead of merely informing the viewer from a singular viewpoint. Genres and styles are mixed, instituting a way of working in which the world is explored through analogy and association, rather than through objective (or scientific) description. This stems from a certain reluctance toward a tightly controlled message and the explicit desire to leave room for the viewer, who is invited develop their own understanding of what this means.
WORKS random selection of works
Forward Escape Into the Past - (solo show) De Brakke Grond (NL) 2018 - The installation consisted out of materials found in the building of De Brakke Grond itself; old theater decor panels including any wear and tear, and scraps of wood. The reusing of materials mirrors the lifestyles of Drop City residents, an autarkic, utopian movement which was based in Colorado. Living as hunter-gatherers they created their utopian community using locally sourced materials.
Forward Escape Into the Past - (solo show) M-Museum Leuven (BE) 2018 - For M Leuven I designed a setting consisting of walls constructed from blocks of hemp. Although mechanically produced, they are shaped and pressed according to centuries-old principle. The material is durable and very light making it ideal for building partition walls or as insulation. In this sense, the building material is in keeping with ecology, sustainability, technology ingenuity and a return to nature: all themes that form a thread running through the exhibition.
In the wake of his surrounding, he fades - (group show) Extra City (BE) 2016 - Within the spaces of Extra City (an old industrial building) I designed and erected walls which created new spaces, with arches made from wood and Ytong stones, shapes inspired by the Italian architect Paolo Soleri and his experimental town Arcosanti in Arizona.
A New Beginning
"It often starts as a small irritation, a barely noticeable glitch. Something just feels off. At first, it doesn’t seem to be an insurmountable problem, only a slight hiccup, easy to redress. But before long the solution creates its own intractable problem, slowly taking everything with it. The problem becomes systematic. The system is the problem....."
The Way Out Is Back
"Unless the future is somehow primitive, we will have no future. The global environmental disaster is arriving; the life-world of our species, not to mention so many other species, is being savaged. And even more is at stake. The overall crisis also brings an overwhelming psychic and spiritual impoverishment. A magnitude of emptiness that in the U.S. is reflected in proliferating mass shootings and a deepening opioid epidemic. So much is being lost in an ever more technological world. There is less and less connection, despite the claims of the tech corporations. There is more and more technology—and less and less community and empowerment. In fact, community is gone, the victim of mass society. When we can no longer effectively be responsible or accountable in society, there is no community."
"How one perceives the world determines ones’ understanding of and interaction with it. Along with the senses, the body serves as a medium between nature and thought, embodying knowledges that inform what we make of it, regardless of whether we opt to dominate or co-exist with our surroundings. Throughout his research-based photographic practice, Jim Campers has always had a spontaneous inclination for navigating different geographical regions and historical epochs, exploring how different cultures and movements intersect with the environment. What paths of envisioning the future have guided the shaping of this world and the ways we lead our lives? Photography does not provide definitive conclusions. It is a medium of demonstration, not proclamation."
Making Sense of the World
"A photograph shows us parts of the world, all bound together by the vertical and horizontal lines of the frame. Of the objects, people and places that are visible in the image, it captures nothing more than their outer appearance. A photograph is (necessarily) a superficial image. Only through thoughtfully organizing the relationships between the different parts, the image becomes infused with meaning..."
"In Forward Escape into the Past, the artist is showing photographs from his two most recent projects, which are situated at the intersection of nostalgia and visionary utopia. The title of the exhibition suggests an alternative future for humanity and in so doing links the two photographic series thematically. Forward Escape into the Past can be understood as a future far removed from technological progress, in which human beings seek a connection with their past and with nature."
- Valerie Verhack, in exhibition text for FORWARD ESCAPE INTO THE PAST at M-Museum Leuven (BE)
Notice to the Reader - The plates of the present work are impressed by the agency of Light alone, without any aid whatever from the artist's pencil. They are the sun-pictures themselves, and not, as some persons have imagined, engravings in imitation.
A note written in The Pencil of Nature (1844-46) from William Henry Fox Talbot (1800 - 1877). The first commercially published book to be illustrated with photographs. Salt printing was the first photographic process for producing positive prints (from negatives), a technique invented by Talbot in the mid-1830s. He made what he called "sensitive paper" for "photographic drawings" by wetting a sheet of writing paper with a weak solution of ordinary table salt (sodium chloride), blotting and drying it, then brushing one side with strong solution of silver nitrate. With this same technique I made "photographic drawings", to use the words of Talbot, of the Clock of the Long Now. A clock made for the coming 10,000 years, a monument for long term thinking. A rare invitation to think and engineer at the timescale of civilization. It offers an enduring symbol of our personal connection to the distant future. To be precise, the images are made of a prototype standing in the Science museum of London, the actual clock is under construction. They are building the clock inside a mountain in West Texas. Once completed, the clock will stand 500 feet tall and will be powered by the Earth's thermal cycles. The title LOOK TO THE MOUNTAIN refers to the phrase "pin peyeh obe"- look to the mountain. The Tewa Indians from the American Southwest use this phrase to remind us that we need to look at things as if we are looking out from the top of a mountain, seeing things in the much broader perspective of the generations that are yet to come. They remind us that in dealing with the landscape, we must think in terms of a ten-thousand-, twenty-thousand-, or thirthy-thousand-year relationship.
The past is always present. What about the future? History is not an unambiguous harmonic progression, but rather a murmur of juxtaposed, interacting states of the past, present and future.
Atavisms are traits of the past that reappear after skipping intervening generations. If we extend this with characteristics from the future that manifest themselves in the present, we can speak of ‘proto-atavisms’.
LongNow wants to shape this unstable state between past, present and future by looking for places or objects that contain multitemporality.
ONE MAN SHOWS
Forward Escape Into the Past, De Brakke Grond (NL)
Forward Escape Into the Past, M-Museum Leuven (BE)
Worldlines (The final show), HISK, Brussels (BE)
Worldlines, HISK, Brussels (BE)
Staying in the gap, Société d'Electricité, Brussels (BE)
Matter of fact, Galerie Duchamp, Yvetot (Fr)
De Tien - M-museum, Leuven (BE)
On the moon and on earth - Make way for dreamers! - Fotografia Europea Festival, Emilia (IT)
Photobook Belge - 'Recent Publications', Fomu, Antwerp (BE)
Retinal Circus, Pukkelpop, Kiewit (BE)
Plat(t)form 2018, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Winterthur (CH)
Musée de la Photo de Bruxelless, Recyclart, Brussels (BE)
Changing Perspective: A Multi-Camera Experience, Fomu, Antwerp(BE)
A----A, Air-Antwerpen Antwerp(BE)
In the wake of his surrounding, he fades, Extra City, Antwerp (BE)
The studio interrupted, Studio Start, Antwerp(BE)
Traveling exhibition - Kassel Photo dummy award 2014 (selection of places):
MIA ,Milano (IT)
Fotoleggendo, Rome (IT)
IED, Madrid (ES)
Photoireland, Dublin (IE)
The PhotoBookMuseum, Cologne (DE)
Le Bal, Paris (FR)
Photobookseminar, Oslo (NO)
Paraty in Focus, Paraty (BR)
Madalena Workshops, Sao Paulo (BR)
Athens Photo Festival, Athens (GR)
Alien Dreamtime, Pikaia, Antwerp (BE)
.tiff Brussel, Ikono, Brussels (BE)
Van een bruisende campus waar de kunsten welig tieren, Lange Zaal, Antwerp (BE)
AMOK, Pikaia, Antwerp (BE)
.tiff, in de Brakke Grond, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (NL)
.tiff, Young Belgian Talent introduced by FotoMuseum Antwerp (BE)
Oktober in Hamburg, Tapetenwerk, Leipzig (DE)
Rundgang, Acadamy of Visual Arts Leipzig, Leipzig (DE)
Prix Fernand Baudin, Komplot, Brussels (BE)
Jim Campers (°1990) grew up in Antwerp, Belgium, the place where he still lives and works.
His work balances the thin line between documentary and fiction; historical research fuses with personal and fictive narratives. Images are shown in an exhibition installation, designed and built by himself specifically for the site and in relation to the project itself. The images and installation tend to establish a dialogue between themselves as well as with the audience, instead of merely informing the viewer from a singular viewpoint. Genres and styles are mixed, instituting a way of working in which the world is explored through analogy and association, rather than through objective (or scientific) description. This stems from a certain reluctance toward a tightly controlled message and the explicit desire to leave room for the viewer, who is invited to develop his his their own understanding of what this means.
WORKS IN PUBLIC COLLECTION
CERA, Leuven (BE)
2012 - 2013
MA - photography department at the Royal
Academy of Fine Art, Antwerp (BE)
Exchange programme with the photography department of the academy of visual arts Leipzig (Class Peter Piller) (DE)
2009 - 2011
BA- Photography department at Sint Lukas higher institute for visual arts, Brussels (BE)
2022 - 2023
Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK), Gent (BE)
STRT-Kit (Studio Start), Antwerp (BE)
The Art Couch, #10
Counterculture Now, Nieuwe Vide's journal of humanity #8
Metropolis M #4 / 2018
Selectief (De Morgen), Februari
H Art magazine #157, 2016
.tiff magazine, second edition, FotoMuseum (FoMu), Antwerp
Self Publish, Be Happy, 03/2013
Contemporary European Photography, Conscientious, 01/23/2013