The two projects, the finalized project 'Anamorphosis' and the work in progress 'Les Clichés sont conservés', offer insight into Van IJken’s practice. Images and texts documenting the research process are displayed on two tables. They do not only show how the projects have developed but also, for instance, what was said during a photographic session.
Photographic portraits are central in Van IJken’s practice. However, it is not the photographic portrait as an end result but rather the entire process of ‘making of a photographic portrait’ that is important, as well as the role of the photographer, sitter, and camera.
'Anamorphosis', a photographic research project about the ‘princess phenomenon’.
Little girls were invited to come to Van IJken’s studio and imitate coloring pages of Disney princesses characters while wearing ‘princess dresses’. By re-photographing her own photographs, resulting in a series of close-ups, Van IJken is addressing her responsibility as maker, viewer, and parent. Ultimately she is raising the question: who is turning little girls into images?
'Les Clichés sont conservés', work in progress
Inspired by contemporary portrait culture, this project focuses on the question what it is like to be confronted with your own photographic image. Van IJken invites people to come to her studio, make photographic portraits together and create a visual response to the outcome.
Van IJken’s research at ACPA, titled 'First Person', is a social, cultural and artistic analysis of the situation of the making a photographic portrait. Photographic portraits have become omnipresent: they inhabit our private realm, public life and, due to social media, the space in between. Photographic portraits relate to ideas of individual identity. They intend to capture, reject or define our identity or even act as avatars in online situations. Van IJken’s research 'First Person' looks at contemporary individual identity through the prism of making a photographic portrait. It creates insights in the construction of photographic portraits and, more importantly, contributes to an understanding of contemporary individual identity.