Lore Stessel

Lore Stessel has conceived a technique that combines painting and photography, thus uniting the characteristics of both disciplines. She paints a photosensitive layer onto the canvas that enables her to develop photographs directly upon the material. The movement required for spreading the emulsion creates a physical involvement, and this bodily presence is also the key starting point for the work. This comes across both in her working method and in her subjects. Lore Stessel goes in search of the tension in the body in relation to various different environments. In Deauville, she took photographs during a walk along the city boundaries, in New York she asked dancers to move at various different locations, in Anderlecht she photographed the bodies of animals in the abattoirs, and she has also created many images of her own environment. Through her ‘touch’, the artist can, to a certain extent, determine in which places the photograph becomes more or less visible. The dynamic that goes hand in hand with this gesture is highly characteristic of painting. Whereas an abstract painted tableau can seem overly subjective, or too non-committal, photographs can directly reproduce the environment. Lore Stessel thus moves between needing a physical presence in the work and the depiction of reality. She wants to show reality as she herself experiences it, without imposing an idealised image on the viewer. By abstracting the photographs using her inter-disciplinary technique, she is not presenting a pre-defined scene, but her works can be unravelled to create a feeling that they are more than just snapshots. She relativizes the photograph and, instead of a single truth, shows a range of intentions and meanings. 

Ilse Roosens