Belgian photographer Lara Gasparotto (1989) presents her photo-series Ask the Dusk as an intimate journal somewhere between dream and reality. It comprises semi-abstract landscapes, portraits of loved ones and impressions of her surroundings, taken in both colour and black-and-white and shown in a mystical, disorientating context.

At first glance, Lara Gasparotto’s work may seem to be documentary but her aim is something more than just reportage. She uses the fragmentary images that she garners from her own life to create poetic narratives that may or may not correspond to reality. Talking about Ask the Dusk, she herself says, ‘The narrative I’ve created has no set beginning and no definite end, it merely shows eruptions of life in different shades of time.’ She records these ‘eruptions’ in rough black-and-white images or, sometimes, in explosions of colour. The images are sometimes sharply focused and provocative, sometimes blurred moments of intimacy, or strange and disconcerting landscapes. She looks for the beauty of the moment and captures it with great spontaneity. Her photographs are almost never staged. At most, she may ask the friends who appear in them to change position slightly. Together, these fragments of her life form a new story. 

Lara Gasparotto (b. 1989) trained at the Saint-Luc École Supérieure des Arts in her home city of Liège. She has had solo shows at the Biënnale de la Photographie de Liège, the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht, the 3 Shadows Arts Center in Beijing and the OCT Arts Center in Shenzhen. She began photographing her own circle of friends at an early age. Her work is part of the ‘diaristic photography’ trend that emerged with Nan Goldin in the 1980s, and of which major photographs like Nobuyoshi Araki and Anders Petersen are more recent adherents. But Lara Gasparotto’s photographs are more mysterious and dreamlike. They reveal her love of the countryside in which she grew up and to which she frequently returns, even in the course of her travels.

 

Belgian publishers Ludion have issued a book, also entitled Ask the Dusk, with an introduction by Francesca Alfano Miglietti (price EUR 34.90. ISBN 978-94-9181-968-1).

The renowned Dutch law firm of Pels Rijcken & Droogleever Fortuijn is chief sponsor of the Hague Museum of Photography and is proud to participate in its forthcoming re-opening.

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