interview with Anne Penders

Meanwhile in Brussels — Interview with Anne Penders

What is your relationship to the medium photography?

photography talks without words. it helps, sometimes. photography captures what surrounds us in a different way. I guess this is why I use both, words and images, as they come to me, depending on their own necessity, or mine. Using analog photography, working with an old Leicaflex or Pentax, or Super-8 camera, is not only a way to keep track with materiality or preserving memory, it’s also to continue to work with the possibility of the accident, which is keeping the medium alive, may be changing this accident into a miracle, may be let the accident talk and express something on its own. I look through the lens, I press the button, I “take” the image but what comes out belongs to another reality, that’s the part of magic still contained in photography, what photography reveals of your own looks, makes you see things you did not know you saw. it could be frightening sometimes. but that’s what revealing is about : it makes you see. and then you have to decide what to do with it : leave it alone ? show it ? print it ? associate it with words ? with other images ? in any case, freed from you, the photo you took will tell it’s own story.

What role does publishing play in your artistic practice and in particular in your work afto?

it’s essential. a book, a publication, gives the possibility for words or images to live a life for themselves. nothing does it better. choosing a paper, a format, a printing technique, is obviously part of the process too. I love riso for small scale projects.


afto — Anne Penders
Anne Penders — afto
afto — Anne Penders
Anne Penders — afto


What are you working on at the moment?

I am working on two photo projects that could become books, one is called “shelter” and the other one is called “North America backwards”. and I am struggling with a long term project called “peripou” which involves photo, super 8 and mainly writing, with a biologist (questioning memory and bees, but not only).

Anne Penders — from the series “North American backwards”, 2019 (work in progress)

For a closer look on Anne Penders‘ work please visit her website features the following publications by Anne Penders