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Hendrik Braet|Vlaams Eclecticisme
Where can one be better off with an exhibition on the ‘Flemish Eclecticism’ than in a typical “citéhuisje” (worker’s house) in the Brugse Poort-district in Ghent? That is also the meaning of Hendrik Braet, a Ghent photographer who explores the tangle of styles and cultures in Flanders and photographs them.
Armed with a camera Hendrik Braet (° 1974, Adegem) leaves for a safari in his own street and city. His most recent graduation project focuses on the outside of Flanders. He questions the identity of the Flemish people, for which a common denominator cannot be found.
What he found on the streets of Flanders defies the imagination: strange building extensions, shacks, monumental red fake dogs, a Boeing in a private garden. The Fleming hardly takes others or even himself into account when demarcating his grounds.
Braet has a trained eye for those details, because even the people he photographs are striking and colorful characters.
His work plays with clichés and shows an organically grown hodgepodge. References to previous time periods are manifested from a fixed photographic point of view. Therefore nothing is taken for granted and there is always a climax hidden in the image. Weirdness, averse to fashion, is key.
Just as Henri Cartier-Bresson in the early 20th century and later Martin Parr, two of his great examples, Hendrik Braet pushes the button on a key moment. Something funny or strange happens in the picture that afflicts him. Thus he exacerbates everyday reality full of real-life humor.
Exhibitions | Publication
Flemish Eclecticism, catalog self-published as a graduation project, Ghent (2016 BE), Group Expo with ao Michiel Hendryckx and Lieven Nollet, Hof Van Ryhove, Ghent (2016 BE), Snoecks Price (2015), Hendrik Braet graduated as a social worker (1995 BE) and obtained his bachelor’s degree in political and social sciences at the University of Gent and a first degree in photography. He completes his training in 2016 at the Academy in Ghent with a specialization in photography.
R.E. DAVID vzw, Phoenixstraat 148, 9000 Ghent.
Design happily provided by Stook
Vertaling/Translation: Dylan Belgrado