/20 Night

Thomas Vandenberghe

Black Diary

I started this series in 2013. I felt the need to document my intimate life. I had always been attracted to the so-called »snapshot« photography, because it records everyday life but it is a very personal form of photography. By working at a 1hour photo service I discovered the value of this personal form†of diaristic photography. An image is often produced to support the act of remembering. Images become significant; they are a material trace of the past preserved for »posterity«.

Regardless of the subject matter, the image is often a precious trace of a loved one, a cherished moment… The act of remembering is the very core of Black Diary. I started to capture the moments that symbolized my »dark« periods, quests, pitfalls, all those times I ran away.

As Susan Sontag suggested, the »snapshot« provides a physical stand-in for the inherent absence that the image implies. For me, the series is a restless voyage between contrasting feelings of longing and belonging, a back and forth between my desirers and shortcomings.

These contrasting feelings are also present in the editing process: the series is not closed. Photos can be added at any time, and the shape and layout may change, depending on my mood. These day’s the dark room is a very important part of my process: the printed image is more tangible than a digital one. A print can be touched, passed around, looked at, and written on. There is a connection between my self-awareness, my photographs and the printed image.