Birdwatching of a different kind: Jean-Luc Mylayne at Gladstone Gallery (Brussels)

Brussels Art Days. Open gallery weekend. Which means: hopping from one contemporary artist’s universe to another’s. And wondering: is this really good or not; do I like it or not? It can be a dizzying experience. As if the needle of your compass is suddenly going in all directions. That’s why it felt comforting to end the day with something simple, charming, poetic, and beautiful: Jean-Luc Mylayne‘s photographs at Gladstone Gallery (through November 5). His large format color images (tableaux, as he calls them) are taken from two series: one shot during a residency in New Mexico and Texas and one shot among French apple orchards. As you might or might not know: Mylayne first meticulously chooses his location and then waits for the bird to sit exactly where he wants it to sit; to play its role in that prefigured mise-en-scene. ‘The bird didn’t just consent to a picture’, the French photographer says. ‘He poses, allowing me to take his portrait.’ You’ll find Mylayne’s work also at the Venice Biennale and in a recent book Into the hands of time.

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