Belgian artist Carmen De Vos mingles highbrow etiquette with sly, subversive eroticism. Her Polaroids are refreshingly audacious and aesthetically wicked, pushing the viewers beyond the boundaries of ordinary life in a way that makes them do about anything to spend one more hour in that mad land of no rules where shameless and sensual women live their baroque fantasies.
Enormously longing for what she’s afraid to lose: real human contact, the slowness of being and creating, the tangibility of materials. She is a slow photographer. She shoots Polaroids to frame these mental escapades, they get so easily out of hand. She never really gets cured from naughtiness and can’t help but traveling back to those blessed times of free-love photography with her Polaroids.
Almost without exception, she uses old Polaroid camera’s, long time expired film and self-made filters. Her tools and methods – such as film bleaching and deliberate film obstruction – are not precise and are not even geared towards a perfect representation. They often yield results – such as colorization, deformation, unsharpness – which she could never have predicted on forehand with any certainty because their flaws do not allow for calculation. She’s not in control. She fights the material. She plans, stages and directs but the decayed chemistry and off-focus lenses add their magic. All by themselves. Which merrily surprises her. Or ruins her image. This battle attracts her as much as it frustrates her. She loves to create within these limitations, to try to produce the best possible image within the narrow circumstances given. Luckily, she’s a sucker for imperfections.