Jeroen De Wandel
Amygdala, De Wandel’s most recent and ongoing project, refers to the place in the brains where emotional and traumatic memories are created, stored and processed. Some memories are very strongly anchored in our brains, other memories get coloured or change during the passing of time. De Wandel tries, by using a collage of (digital/analogue) layers of archive pictures (own and found footage), to express the multiple layers of these memories and to create new memories. Fragments from the past loose their context in the present and their attachment to reality gradually fades away.
Scientific research tries to find a way of erasing traumatic memories from our brains. If we will be able to erase memories, we will probably be able to plant memories into our brains too. Manipulation is not far away and the most of us will raise ethical objections against these scientific experiments.
But this triggers some questions. Is our memory accurate and can we trust it? Do we create dream images about existing places/people, about ourselves? Is what we see really what we see and experience? Or do our brains also deliver some fake news? Can we implant and manipulate memories? Aren’t our memories manipulated yet by (social) media and capitalistic propaganda and are we aware of this? This picture is part of bigger collages, as investigation on how a single part can become a new image/memory on its own.
About the artist
Jeroen De Wandel (b. 1980) lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. He uses material from his personal archive to generate new images. He combines, recomposes, cuts, tears and pastes both analogue and digital pictures in his search for the unexpected.
De Wandel’s work is a mix of photography, collage and other types of visual/ installation art, sometimes presented as object, sometimes as picture/artefact of studio made installations. Starting point is his archive of (mostly autobiographical) pictures, interests and experiences.
Themes as time, the working of the brain, social criticism, relationship between painting and photography and re-use/recycling are crucial in his work. De Wandel was shortlisted on Sony World Photography Awards in 2017 with his ensō – series and got selected in 2018 with his Amygdala-project for the Young Artist Development Program (.tiff) of FoMu, the museum of photography in Antwerp and part of the European Futures Photography platform.