Brigitte de Langen
The work of Brigitte de Langen (1969) is quiet, tactile and aesthetic and at the same time confrontational and intriguing. She zooms in on her subject, shows details, (collective) memories and traces. With her work De Langen tries to make the unseen and the forgotten seen, she creates attention for the still and serene world that seems far from us. She takes a stand against the fleeting and individualistic time we live in now, in which often many things happen at the same time and lack genuine awareness for our surroundings and vicinity.
Tempus Silens portrays a series of items that are visibly used and kept with love. Invisible fingerprints are left behind on the intensely personal objects. Who was the owner of these objects, what remains in the box, what is written in the letter…?
The images of Tempus Silens are slow and urge one to stand still, literally (because of the size) but also figuratively speaking (causing self reflection). They invite to truly observe and tempt the viewer to pause in the moment.
The series Tempus Silens started as a photographic requiem. All the photographed objects came out of the drawers and cupboards of De Langen’s mother, who kept and cherished through out her life items that had, for her, a special meaning.
After clearing her house, 4 boxes with personal items remained, which the family, could not yet divide or dispose of, as the mother had not yet died. The boxes with this ‘collection of a life’ were waiting until death arrived, after which the collection could be redistributed.
In this waiting time, De Langen took the boxes and started to photograph the objects. Initially as a registration, but as the project progressed, Tempus Silens (silent/standing time) emerged. A collection of 50 silent photographs.
“Tempus Silens is not about my mother, it is about all mothers, fathers and children…”
The series is about attention; asking attention and giving attention, genuine observation and it questions the nowadays and the coming days through these, for the viewer, anonymous objects.
The viewer is invited to give new meaning to the items, to reflect one’s own background or kept secret and ask oneself the question ‘What is really of value and what do I leave behind’?
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