woensdag 10 september 2008
Dutch Eyes Hellen van Meene Going My Own Way Home Photography
Van Meene’s travels in 2007 produced Going My Own Way Home. This powerful series of portraits focuses on young people from around New Orleans – one of the poorest parts of the American south. Against the backdrop of neglected and weatherworn dwellings, van Meene’s subjects confront the camera face on, by turns bold and vulnerable, sassy and forlorn. In one such portrait, three young boys stand outside a run-down house, barefoot and shirtless, scrutinising the viewer as they pause before resuming their play. In Russia, 2008, van Meene turns her attention to similarly aged young people, in similarly faded surroundings. In contrast to the rawness of her American photographs, the camera here lingers with studied determination. Off-setting van Meene’s mature portraits are a number of romantic still lifes that home in on the forgotten corners of faded buildings and open spaces around St Petersburg.
Van Meene is known for her composed portraits of adolescent girls and androgynous boys. Profoundly still, her subjects are caught in moments of deep contemplation, grounded and absorbed. Though the promise of youth shines through, van Meene’s pictures often harbour elements of disquiet - clothes are ill-fitting; girls appear exhausted with dark rings under their eyes; hair is tangled in trees. See for an interview ...