Margins of Excess (2018)

Margins of Excess
Softcover, 192 x 246 mm, 352 pages
Self-published by Max Pinckers, edition of 1500
ISBN 9789082465549
Retail price: €50

In 'Margins of Excess' the notion of how personal imagination conflicts with generally accepted beliefs is expressed through the narratives of six individuals. Every one of them momentarily received nationwide attention in the US press because of their attempts to realize a dream or passion, but were presented as frauds or deceivers by the mass media’s apparent incapacity to deal with idiosyncratic versions of reality.

Herman Rosenblat became well-known because of a self-invented love-story set in a concentration camp during WWII, the private detective Jay J. Armes appears to be a real-life superhero, Darius McCollum drew media attention by compulsively highjacking trains, Richard Heene would have staged an elaborate television hoax, Rachel Doležal would have pretended to be ‘black’, and Ali Alqaisi would have tried to make people believe that he was the ‘hooded man’ in the iconic photo from Abu Ghraib prison. This book weaves together their stories through personal interviews, press articles, archival footage and staged photographs.

The current era of ‘post-truth’, in which truths, half-truths, lies, fiction or entertainment are easily interchanged, has produced a culture of ‘hyper-individual truths’, demanding a new approach to identify the underlying narratives that structure our perception of reality in a world where there is no longer a generally accepted frame of realism. Embedding the stories of the six main protagonists into a clustering tale of cloned military dogs, religious apparitions, suspect vehicles, fake terrorist plots, accidental bombings and fictional presidents, this book follows an associative logic akin to the indiscriminate way a paranoid mind connects unrelated events, or the hysteria of the 24-second news cycle.

In 'Margins of Excess' reality and fiction are intertwined. Not to fool us, but to reveal a more intricate view of our world, which takes into account the subjective and fictitious nature of the categories we use to perceive and define it. And then again: not to celebrate superficiality and contingency, but to pierce through the noise, buzz, pulp, lies, dreams, paranoia, cynicism and laziness and to embrace ‘reality’ in all its complexity.

Read an introduction by Hans Theys here:
Margins of Excess: A new photographic essay by Max Pinckers

With the support of the the Edward Steichen Award Luxembourg, the International Studio & Curatorial Program
residency in New York and Vlaamse Regering Kunsten & Erfgoed . Max Pinckers is affiliated as a researcher
to KASK / School of Arts of University College Ghent. Margins of Excess is part of his research project
financed by the Arts Research Fund of University College Ghent, 2015-2021.

Upcoming exhibitions

“It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably
every day / for lack / of what is found there.”
Gallery Sofie Van de Velde (Nieuw Zuid)
Group exhibition
Curated by Joachim Naudts
Opening: 25 January
Runs until 18 March 2018
Leon Stynenstraat 21, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium

Photo Friction
Cultuurcentrum Mechelen
Group exhibition
Opening: 26 January
Runs until 15 April 2018
Minderbroedersgang 5, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium

'Hopen op de goden' on Canvas

Part of the production in the US was documented by Canvas for the Belgian television program 'Hopen op de goden', which aired on November 19th, 2017 on Canvas and VRT NU: