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Terenja van Dijk



Recollecting landscapes

on the rephotographing of the Flemish landscape

Commissioned by the University of Ghent and the Flemish Architecture Institute (Vai) [2006]

Direction and production of films and multimedia

The exhibition ‘Recollecting Landscapes’ explores the transformation of the Flemish landscape between 1904 and 2004.

In 1904, professor Jean Massart made dozens of photos of landscapes in Belgium. Photographer George Charlier refotographed sixty of these sites in 1980 for the National Botanical Gardens (Nationale Plantentuin). The urbanism division of the University of Ghent (Labo Stedenbouw) began an investigation of these photos and the transformation of the landscape in 2002. The Flemish Architecture Institute (Vai) asked Jan Kempenaers to photograph the same locations a third time in 2003. These series of photographs form the basis for a fascinating look on how the Flemish landscape evolved over the course of a century. SMAK Ghent, February – April 2006

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The photography, digital, and audio components of the exhibition are presented in a spacious, laboratory-like setting by artist Richard Venlet.

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The documentary film project consists of two films shown parallel to one another. ‘Ascension’, in which the camera follows Jan Kempenaers from his Antwerp studio as he searches for the exact position and then records one of the locations to be photographed, which is situated on the Belgian coast. The film documents the Flemish landscape from the perspective of a modern observer in 2004: while driving a car.

A second film shows how specialists examine the series of photos. Urban development experts Professors Pieter Uyttenhove and Bruno Nottebohm, along with landscape expert Hans Leinfelder, biolgist Leo Van Hecke, and photo critic Steven Humblet, interpret the photos and show how the series reveals the transformation of the landscape.

At the right, three fragments:

  1. Montage from ‘Hemelvaart’ with Jan Kempenaers
  2. Interpretation of photo series ‘21 Zillebeke’ by Steven Humblet (vid missing?)
  3. Interpretation of photo series ‘30 Temse’ by Bruno Nottebohm
Scientific curator
  • Pieter Uyttenhove
Artistic curator
  • Philippe Van Cauteren
Advisory group
  • Katrien Vandermarliere
  • Terenja van Dijk
  • Sylvia Van Peteghem
Coordination SMAK
  • Rom Bohez
  • Thibaut Verhoeven
Concept installation
  • Richard Venlet
  • Georges Charlier
  • Jan Kempenaers
  • Jean Massart
  • Direction and assemblage of audiovisual wing
  • Terenja Van Dijk
Image recording
  • Jess De Gruyter
  • Sammy Goemaere
  • Jess De Gruyter
  • Terenja van Dijk
Digital wing
  • Development of image bank, University Library, Ghent
  • Patrick Hochstenbach
  • Kjell Lotigiers
  • Nicolas Steenlant
Production digital wing
  • Dominiek Decleyre
  • Frederik De Leersnijder
  • Inge Van Nieuwerburgh
  • Frederik Lievens
  • Marielle Vandelanotte
  • Christel Vandeput
  • Bregje Provo
  • Dries Vanbelleghem
  • Ive Van Bouwel
  • This exhibition is a coproduction of the SMAK, the University of Ghent (Department of Architecture & Urbanism, and the University Library in the context of Focus on Architecture)