Hellen van Meene: kleinere afdrukken, meer intimiteit

In een interview met American Photo van deze maand legt Hellen van Meene uit waarom ze niet meegaat in de trend om steeds grotere afdrukken te exposeren. Die belemmeren de intimiteit tussen kijker en foto, vindt ze.
Uit American Photo:

I always had really small photos. My smallest photos are 29×29 centimeters [11×11 inches], and my larger photos are 39×39 centimeters [15×15 inches]. What I really love of these sizes is that when you look at a photo in an exhibition, you have to stand in front of it, and your head is about as big as the photo you’re looking at. It also means that when you’re looking at the photo only you can look at it at that moment. Another person has to wait until you are done with it.

When you are standing in front of a very large photo, you have a different kind of feeling and relationship with the photo. It is so large that you always share that moment with other people next to you. So there’s a different kind of relationship with the photo.

I think it’s better for some photos to have this kind of intimacy, when you have to look at it getting closer. You can then see more details. It is a bit strange, but I always think that when a photo is really large you can probably see everything much better. When I look at a very large photo I always think I’ve seen everything. But because it’s so large I maybe don’t invest the time the photo needs. With a small photo, I always spend more time with it, because I don’t want to miss anything. The small photo demands more attention, it demands for you to look more closely so you don’t miss a thing.

• Meer: A Conversation with Portraitist Hellen Van Meene