The Belgian photographer Pascal Mannerts travels throughout the world in search of the essence, nature and the idiosyncrasies of the human being through capturing accurate (and beautiful) instants from everyday life.
After fifteen years travelling through countries such as Bolivia, India, Cambodia, Mauritania, or Palestine, Mannaerts collects in his images the beauty of particular stories framed in completely unique geographic and social contexts. His portraits and landscapes hide the greatnesses, misery and humours of the human being with specific details or splendid and massive demonstrations.
In his photographs every line, gesture or thought-provoking look, invites the spectator to reflect, they open new geographical horizons and bring us closer to landscapes that are almost dreamlike in their beauty.
In a process of total immersion in the culture of each region or country, the photographer with his camera picks up the bright colors of the tradition, the festivities or ritualistic and symbolic corpus of everyday customs. Excerpts of lives governed mostly by religious traditions that are wrapped in brightly pigmented waves transforming everyday reality into pure spectacle. Transforming the sorrow and misfortune in almost theatrical scenes and exalting the human vitalistic inner character.
Faces that speak of much deeper of social identities than flags or geographical boundaries. People framed in their geographical context and with their looks or gestures tell the story of each country or region and generate the idiosyncrasies of each portrayed corner.
In many cases in his photographs we find the paradox of reality shown with small details: a poster, graffiti or a paper bag ... Details that tell us about the effects of globalization on societies like India or China and induces us to reflect on the possible need for more basic gestures to find happiness as demonstrated by their images.
In his landscapes, infinite paintings loaded exoticism and exuberance, lost places, almost unreal, are collected, where the things shown between heaven and earth are presented as if they were fictional scenes where time seems to stand still for thousands of years. Scenes of past and recent historical events that with a detail recall long years of suffering, ideological conflicts or simply the consequences of overcome wars.
Photographs of Pascal Mannaerts, sometimes spontaneous and others more studied, submerge us in the depth and infinity of man, in its customs and more common and simple gestures, as he says. The omniscient photographer that morphs with the environment forces the viewer closer to the little treasures of everyday life, and of its symbolic wealth and the most significant details that make people be Cambodian or German, regardless of geographic boundaries.
The exhibition entitled Ciels et Terres can be seen until January in the Alliance Française de Bruxelles, where a selection of some of the most interesting landscapes are collected. He is currently preparing another whose opening is scheduled for March 2014, in the Halles Saint-Gery, also in Brussels.
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