Carmen De Vos (°1967) is a slow photographer. She registers, portrays and thinks up odd stories. 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 and directs but the decayed chemistry and off-focus lenses add their magic. All by themselves. Which 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.
Furthermore she is fascinated by the unreliability of the human memory as an instrument for recording reality. Our recollection is at best a potpourri of isolated but genuine events. Often not even that. Our memory assails us with a medley of impressions we have assembled throughout the years. Our brain orders, rearranges, adapts, interprets, colours, decolourizes, dims and accentuates these memories of our wannabe past independently of our conscious will. In many ways as do her Polaroid pictures.
She’s currently working on a new photo novel and on portrait book of Flemish female artists.