For the work Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty, Max Pinckers (born in Belgium in 1988, but raised in Asia), travelled to India for four months, accompanied by his partner Victoria Gonzalez-Figueras. There he has attempted to document, capture, stage and bring to life various specific aspects of love and marriage. Searching through newspapers and magazines, watching films and roaming through cities, he has been looking for subjects that suited his theme, such as couples on their honeymoon at the foot of the Himalayas, men on white horses, Victoria’s (carts on which newlyweds strut around), photo studios where couples have their portraits taken, strange decors for marriage ceremonies, a stranded photograph of a married couple (which is offered to a river, lake or sea after their death), a set of discarded photos from a studio next to the Taj Mahal and many other things. He also made pictures of ‘lovebirds’ (young lovers on the run from their disapproving families due to caste or religious differences) and the Love Commandos (an organization that protects and supports these young runaway couples and helps them get married and start anew).

We see beautiful images of people; some staged, some not. The shelter of the Love Commandos, for instance, which we recognize by the blue walled spaces: a confined space that is an ode to freedom. Often the beautifully lit photographs contain an extra, unneeded reflecting flash, as a footnote, a signature, but also as a spatial photographic intervention. Despite his thorough documentation (that largely exists out of photos, be it found or made by amateurs, such as in the series Lotus), Pinckers searches for images that are devoid of recognizable elements. It is not the folklore that interests him, nor the differences between our cultures, but this universal search for the perfect image, for our understanding of beauty and kitsch, for our constricted forms of style, and for the emotions that all these images evoke nonetheless. Young couples that dream of a Bollywood elopement or a tradition that is degenerating into cookie-cutter romances... The way life and death disguise and reveal themselves in our relationship with images.

– Edited excerpt from Photographs as Poems by Hans Theys, 2014

Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty was commissioned by EUROPALIA INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL for the Indomania exhibition at Bozar - Centre of Fine Arts, Brussels, 2013/2014.

Research and Production by Victoria Gonzalez-Figueras

Reference texts & reviews:
Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa, Aperture Blog, online, 2016
Francesca Orsi, Yet Magazine, online, 2015
Shilpa Vijayakrishnan, Tasveer Journal, India, 2014
Hans Theys, Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty, Belgium, 2014
Paula Kupfer, Aperture Foundation NY, online, 2014
Kurt Snoekx, Wunderkammer, Agenda Magazine, Belgium, 2014
Colin Pantall, British Journal of Photography magazine, UK, 2013

Book: Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty, self-published by Max Pinckers, 2014