In Brussels I saw a group of tourists from Asia and Africa that were trying to take a picture of the cathedral. But it was impossible to find a good angle: the steps and the small park in front of the church were filled with refugees.
They came from the same continents as the tourists, with their bags, their tents and their despair. I was wondering who could have the moral authority to accept one group of foreigners and refuse the other. It took me a while to find the right way to channel my embarrassment and shame.
So here is the Last Judgment
I developed my Last Judgment in a photographic and monumental triptych. The panels measure each 216 x 200 cm. I printed them on advertising tarpaulin.
On the left are the ones who are welcome: sportsmen, businessmen, tourists. For their panel, I loosely based myself on the Marianne by Géricault. On the right are the cursed, the “others”. Their panel refers to the countless versions of the theme of the pieta and statues of the Virgin Mary with her child. In the middle you will find those who think they have authority, represented as God in the representations of the Last Judgment.
I posed the actors (amateurs) in sacral poses, quite static, inspired by the neo-Byzantine mosaics that we see in many churches until the fifties of the 20th century, like for example the Basilica of Saint Christopher in Charleroi, the city where I live.
Although the installation appears to be a photo, it is actually a photographic collage. All the characters are photographed individually, and even parts of their bodies have been photographed separately. This gives me more freedom in lighting and editing on one side, and causes an alienation in the image. The distance between the spectator and the people represented increases; and the image ceases to be a portrait and becomes an image.