/04 Traces

Bert Danckaert

Simple Present

We see in Bert Danckaert’s work a strangely familiar universe: that of the unremarkable, undistinguished places in which all of us spend so much of our lives, places we pass through without giving them any notice, spaces that are just trajectories, parts of a line connecting one place with another.
Places, in short, that define our lives and that of so many other people in the urbanized world.
Danckaert’s work thus becomes a landmark of intercultural understanding, something that manages not to be trapped in the easy imageries of the exotic-typical, but brings us back to where things begin and end: in real human life. In an age of globalization, such levels of understanding are real, valuable forms of knowledge.

Jan Blommaert in ‘Simple Present – Beijing

The bizarre cityscapes of Bert Danckaert deal with the same paradox of abstractive simplicity and a complexity of meaning and metaphor. Danckaerts still lives breathe a superficial flavour, a strangeness that is found in the familiar. Coincidental installations of sidewalks, walls and street furniture refer more to minimalist art than to conventions of street photography. In these absurd scenarios a recognizable, all too banal reality appears stage-set, props and trompe-l’oeil included, while the actors are absent.

Inge Henneman, curator of the Antwerp Photo Museum
‘Simple Present – Beijing’
Published by Veenman Publishers in 2008