Harmonica-like Spaces

Text by Hans Theys
First published in .tiff magazine, FOMU Antwerp, Belgium, March 2012

Due to the intricate lighting and compositions, Max Pinckers (1988) creates images with several layers of depth, or moments of depth, that present themselves as stepping stones for the eye of the beholder. Perspective is used to create a varying range of folded, harmonica-like spaces. As a result, the photographs seem to depict a space that is alive, like a forest, but also a space that functions as a theater set or the set of a photo studio. The effect of these compositions is double: they reinforce the impression of an artificially arranged space, but at the same time they enhance a feeling of poor housing and entrapment. They evoke the wondrous creative power of artists, but they also remind us of our own meager attempts to shape ourselves into presentable beings. We meet anonymous cyclists, lady boys and amateur bodybuilders, all trying to become somebody new or trying to look like somebody else. Already, Max Pinckers’ oeuvre shows itself as a baroque mirror palace, always poetic, buzzing with secret meaning, never forgetting to be deeply human. And then we meet the photograph of the well: a strangely lit hole, a sculptural proposal, an official emptiness, a new frame for the image to be.

Hans Theys, Montagne de Miel, February 25th 2012