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BALEN~Céline.*

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Author: Campert~Remco
 Publisher: Stichting Basalt & Van Zoetendaal Collections, Amsterdam
 Year: 2002
 Artist: BALEN~Céline
 ISBN: 90-75574-21-5

Céline van Balen 

1st edition. Dutch and English text. 58,(2) pag. Cloth over boards with tipped-in colour plate, partly in colour, biography, publications, exhibition-history, bilingual.

 

Listen I’ve saved these words till last.

We go unnoticed, because that is better for everyone. We are of no further use. The rest of the world has pushed us aside, untouchable. By not seeing us, they mean to deny us. But we live on. They can’t stamp out that stubborn flame.

Life is the law we live by. We are a tenacious army. We dwell forever in the coldest season. We find refuge in the city, in her eternal transformation. The city tolerates us. The city asks nothing of us. The city is indifferent. The city is our best ennemy.

We are ageless. Perhaps we were young once; but even then, we had seen more. Look at our eyes. We were born forewarned.

Even we have our dreams, our memories. We cling to them as to a stray dog. Sometimes the memory of that stray is all we have left.

We stand our ground. We are the proud. When we’ve had no choice, we’ve taken fate into our own hands. You think you can avoid us, but the reality is different. Our reality is our beauty. You are not aware of this, but we are your hidden strength. Do not seek to destroy us, for you will only destroy yourselves.

On the window of my last, cold room, the winter has etched frost flowers, touched by a breath of warmth. That is the breath of the photographer, who knows that I exist. Who brings me to light.

(text by Remco Campert, translated by Stacey Knecht)

BEST VERZORGDE BOEKEN 2002

Célinevan Balen is gefascineerd door mensen die min of meer aan de zijlijn van de maatschappij staan, mensen die niet doorsnee zijn. Van enige afstand nam zij zwartwitfoto’s van zwervers, alcoholisten en oude mensen, en van een alleenstaande, hard werkende moeder met twee kinderen in een uitgewoonde etage. Van zeer dichtbij maakte zij kleurige portretten van islamitische meisjes met hijabs (hoofddoeken) en van Oost-Europese jongeren. Hun ogen kijken je intens direct aan.

 

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