February 17th – March 14th, 2013
Opening Reception: February 17th; 7.00 pm – 10.00 pm
by Carl de Keyzer
Carl de Keyzer has dedicated his career to exposing the moments which pass before a catastrophe in the past thirty years.
Born in Kortrijk, Belgium, De Keyzer began his career as a freelance photographer. In the meantime, he supported himself as a photography instructor at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent, Belgium. In 1989 his first large scale project focusing on the “just before” moments took place in Russia, where his work Homo sovieticus explored communist Russia before the implosion of its regime. In 1992 his project God Inc. investigated new forms of religious fanaticism in the US, preceding the bloodbath in Waco in 1993. However it was not until 2007 that he began traveling the coasts of Europe, and Moments before the Flood was born.
Carl de Keyzer’s photo series collected from twenty countries, created in a David Lynch-like atmosphere, shows the tension of an impending catastrophe. Throughout the exhibition a singular theme is echoed: is the world aware – and prepared for – the rise of the water level due to climate change? De Keyzer’s exhibition at The Empty Quarter shows the impending disaster of rising seawater, and as a result the mere beauty of his works is no longer just aesthetically pleasing, but serve as a warning. Through de Keyzer’s photography, the viewer is transferred into a world of uncertainty, unable to see the actual threat.Moments before the Flood does not document catastrophe, but the exact opposite, the absence of catastrophe. The subdued tension in the images come alive in a complex world of danger, desolation, and perseverance.
De Keyzer’s works have been exhibited across major European galleries all the while gaining worldwide recognition through his awards, which include the Book Award from the Arles Festival, the W. Eugene Smith Award, and the Prix de la Critique Kodak Award.