(Born in Belgium, 1954, Wilrijk-Antwerpen)
Linda Vermeiren works in Belgium, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands and Thailand and lives currently in Antwerpen.
Next to photographic series and profound reports about subjects like North-Ireland , the Jazz Middelheim-festival and the Venice carnival, the world of transgenders, transvestites, drag queens and homosexuals has been taking an important place in her oeuvre for almost a decade now.
Inside this world, Vermeiren portrays individuals who have been actively outed, but nonetheless wear a mask at the exact moment that they are captured by the camera. These portraits emphasize the different layers of their personae on one hand, but also a certain conscious anonymity on the other. What typifies these individuals is their will to out themselves in an attractive way.
For an attentive spectator, this unavoidably evokes a few paradoxal questions:
Is this mask, except for something one can hide behind, also a form of glorification? Is it maybe a true expression of the portrayed individual’s personality? Do these portraits tell us something or rather nothing at all about the models’ psychology? Does one’s true personality stay consciously hidden or does it obtain a public character by turning it into a photographic print?
Thus, one can state that, in her black-and-white prints, Linda Vermeiren in fact touches upon the ambiguity which is present in everyone’s life.
As a photographer of portraits she never takes the statement of the moralist or of one who thinks she has the right to judge about other people’s choices: her statement is simply that of the photographer who wants to make the “perfect” shot of people with a very specific way of living. In fact it is of little significance that the portrayed are transvestites. However the photographer offers them a chance to be their genuine selves in front of her camera, whatever that may mean to them. Moreover Vermeiren wants her pictures not only to be appreciated by the people whom she chooses as her models: she wants her photographs to speak to a large variability of spectators not only because of the specific subject, but also because of their photographic qualities.
Linda Vermeiren’s exhibition runs parallel with the exhibition ‘Faces and Phases’, portraits by the South-African artist Zanele Muholi at Gallery Verbeeck-Van Dyck.
The opening of the exhibition will take place on Friday the 26th of July 2013 at 8.00 p.m. and will run until August 25.
(c) Zanele Muholi (c) Zanele Muholi (c) Linda Vermeiren