‘Photography is false on the level of perception, true on the level of time’, Roland Barthes once said. According to Barthes, a photograph is ‘a new form of hallucination’, so to speak, a modest, shared hallucination (not being there, on one hand, but having indeed been there): a mad image, which has that glimmer of reality. In his work Tom Callemin plays with that glimmer of reality and with the camera’s capacity to let us, as he says, ‘look between the folds of time’s continuum and discover what our eye overlooks.’
Callemin’s photographs show the paradoxical, alienating character of photography. They are not ‘readable’, not descriptive, although they do involve a narrative through a play of suggestions. These are constructed images that question, in a conceptual way, photography as a medium in these times of unbridled visual production. Callemin: “In an age in which we see everything around us changing rapidly, the photograph may well be the only thing that continues to remind us of what once existed. The photograph is an anchor in times when the flow of time seems to be a prime issue. More than ever before, for instance, we need to look at what was always there: the moon, the sea.”
Tom Callemin was born in 1991, in Ostend (BE). He obtained a master in both Photography and Fine Arts at KASK in Ghent, Belgium. He was selected by the Fotomuseum in Antwerp (FOMU) in 2014 as a promising young photographer for the .tiff magazine and in 2015 as FOAM Young Talent by the Photo Museum in Amsterdam. He also won the Prix Lavallois in 2015. The work of Tom Callemin was exhibited in solo and group exhibitions at a.o. FOMU, Antwerp (2021, 2016, BE); STUK, Leuven (2021, BE); ENSP, Arles (2019, FR); MAS Antwerp (2018/19, BE); the Brakke Grond, Amsterdam (2017, NL); Museum Kranenburgh, Bergen (2016, NL); Museum Dr. Guislain, Ghent (2016, BE); Institut Néerlandais, Paris (2015, FR); Arts Festival Watou, Watou (2015, BE). The work of Callemin was also selected for the online special about contemporary photography from Belgium, “Turning Photography”, as part of the Belgian Pavilion program at the 57th Venice Biennale. His work is represented in various international public and private collections.