Installation view, Geert Goiris, In tongues, 2021, “Periphery”, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp/BE. Photo: Geert Goiris

Geert Goiris, In tongues, 2021, video – full HD – 12 min

Periphery, Kunsthal Extra City, Antwerp/BE, until May 8, 2022

Kunsthal Extra City
Provinciestraat 112 (bezoek)
Ploegstraat 25 (kantoor)
2018 Antwerpen/BE

Further information:

Geert Goiris in cooperation with VLP, Groot-Bijgaarden, 2020, Design: Roger Willems, 44 + 16 pages, 28 x 36 cm, ISBN:9789492811813

Around the year 1124, a community of Benedictines settled on the Wivina site at Groot-Bijgaarden in modern-day Belgium. Archaeological research has uncovered the remains of five consecutive churches and outbuildings there. The current chapel from 1924 is still intact. In 2011 interior architect Tom Callebaut led the transformation of this chapel into a contemporary space for contemplation. Nine years later, photographer Geert Goiris was invited to visualize the experience of this space, which is still a beacon of theology and reflection. A text by Herman Lombaerts accompanies the series of images. 

Limited edition of 500 copies

Roma Publication 391

Between 2008 and 2010 I travelled twice to antarctica to photograph a whiteout. This weather condition can occur in polar regions and high mountains. When the concentration of microscopic ice crystals in the atmosphere exceeds a certain limit it traps the sunlight. Light gets diffused through these particles, falls onto the snow and ice below and is reflected endlessly in the air like an an echo chamber.

Whiteout is an atmospherical, optical phenomenon, where the observer appears to be engulfed in a uniformly white glow. Any sense of depth and orientation is lost. Only dark, nearby objects can be seen. The horizon disappears, the landscape turns into a white void – a ‘ganzfeld’. Our brain isn’t used to uniform stimulation, seeing is based on contrast. Making a distinction between different patterns, colours or structures. When we gaze into a featureless field of vision it can produce hallucinations 

I wanted to capture on film the transformation of matter into light during a whiteout. The resulting piece is an analog slide projection. The film was exposed in antarctica, developed and at last loaded into a projector. The powerful light shining through the diapositive projects an ephemeral image onto the wall. The projection is automated, each image dissolves into the next one. There is a strange temporality at play inspired by the experience of continuous daylight during my stay on the continent.


Geert Goiris was born in Bornem in Belgium in 1971. He lives and works in Anvers.

Geert Goiris travels the world, seeking out unusual places and interpreting them in enigmatic images. Despite the high resolution afforded by his large-format film camera, his images don’t overwhelm us with definitive information. They are intentionally unpinned from a specific era, giving the feeling that we could be simultaneously looking at the past and the future.

“The photographic act is by definition contrary to anticipation: only what already exists can be captured on film or in the memory card. As soon as the subject is immortalized, it belongs to the past, even if its representation is constantly updated in the present, every time we look at it. Going against this ontological definition of the medium, Geert Goiris has been developing since the early 2000s a photographic practice that could be described as anticipatory. His images capture in the present the harbingers of the disorders to come, whether they are of a climatic or ecological nature. Of course, the support of this mental projection is located in reality – whether it is a desert landscape, a concrete architecture turned upside down or a miniaturized silhouette – but this reality is constantly questioned by the observer because of the disturbance effected by the image. The artist thus seeks to contradict the veracity of the testimony offered by the photograph, while soliciting the viewer’s receptivity to his own work.”

*Extract of “Une photographie anticipatoire”, article written by Septembre Tiberghien in the context of the exhibition Fight or Flight that took place in 2016 at Frac Haute-Normandie.

His work is present, among others, in the following collections: Seattle Art Museum, Seattle; Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg; Museum of photography, Antwerp; Centro de Arte Caja de Burgos, Spain; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Direction des Affaires culturelles de la Ville de Paris; Deutsche BÖRSE AG, Germany; Nouveau Musée National de Monaco.

Selected exhibitions: World Without Us, Biennale de la photographie de Mulhouse, Caserne des pompiers, Hombourg/FR (public space)(2020); Terraforming Fantasies, Palazzo De’ Toschi, Bologna/IT (2019); Silent Earth, Deutsche Börse AG, The Cube, Eschborn (2020); World Without Us, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Anvers (2018); Geert Goiris, Musée de Bagnes, Bagnes (curators : Jean-Paul Felley & Olivier Kaeser) (2014); Geert Goiris, M – Museum, Leuven (2013); Le Silence. Une fiction, Villa Paloma, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Monaco (2012); The eye is a lonely hunter: images of humankind, The 4th edition of the Fotofestival Mannheim – Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen (2011); Whiteout and other stories, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (2010); Fresh Hell, Carte Blanche à Adam McEwen, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2010).

At the gallery