Saly - 2020
self published book,14p., 19 x 28,5cm.
Saly explores the journey of a salamander, wandering of in the small village of St Piereville, France. It’s movements create a choreography, captured by the camera, presented in the book.
The book is completely handmade and printed on risograph at So-Ri printing studio in Antwerp, in an edition of 65.
Order by email.
Forms of Public Privacy - 2019-2020
(Collaboration with Sophia Holst)
Project & Sculptures by Sophia Holst, Photography by Axel De Marteau, Performance by Self Luminous Society.
Exhibition views: Collectible Art Fair (Brussels), Z33 (Hasselt).
'As a critique on the current urban trend to overprogram and overdesign Belgium cities, and Western cities in general, a research is done into five cases of abandoned and un-maintained spaces in Brussels. In the exhibition a series of sculptural models show architectural elements of the investigated spaces that provide a certain spatial intimacy and public privacy. These models, together with photographs of Axel De Marteau and a publication, argue for the value of these abandoned and un-programmed spaces within an urban setting. Their informal programs such as hangout spots, living spaces and meetings spaces form a vital part of the social spaces and commons of our cities.'
Pollen - 2019
Archival pigment prints behind glass plates or in wooden frames.
Exhibition views: Jan Van Eyck Academy (Maastricht)
Pollen was created during a short stay at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, within the group project Rurban: Landscapes on the Move.
This project focused on urban areas and their rural surrounding and how they are subject to change by natural processes, and above all by direct human intervention. “Mirroring his times during the 1920s and 30s, Werner Mantz photographed the rising industrialization and the consequent degradation of the natural landscape of the region now known as the Euregio. Participants in the Rurban: Landscapes on the Move project were challenged to constrain (or expand) their working territory to that of the Euregio. Reexamined from a contemporary perspective, could the participating photographers identify what they felt as important in the region? This theme formed the core of the RURBAN project.’’
Pollen focuses on a group of bees collecting the first pollen of the year near a limestone quarry in Ahütte (Germany). These hopeful images are combined with monumental photographs of impacting industrial areas within the same region.
Fur - 2019
Archival pigment prints, wooden tables
Exhibition views: Recyclart (Brussels)
For a group show at Recyclart, together with photography master students of Sint-Lukas Brussels, Axel De Marteau selected images from his archive from 2016 to 2019. The images, collected under the title Fur, were made during visits to London and Berlin. The photographs share an interest in the relation between humans and animals in world’s Metropolises.
Waidmannslust - 2019
6 Archival pigment prints, 32x24cm
On May 20, 1884, the former colony Waidmannslust received its own stop at the Berlin Nordbahn. This was financed by the forester and innkeeper Ernst Bondick, who in this time promoted the development and settlement of his lands. Bondick took a particularly clever approach here: during the count of departing passengers, he invited all his acquaintances to his restaurant, so that the railway administration was impressed by the rush and set up a permanent stop.
In the early 20th century the train tracks where raised and the station building was completed.
Over the years the s-bahn station became more than a stop for commuters. It’s specific architecture turned out to be an ideal refuge for pigeons. Despite stealth nets, bird wires and spikes, the birds thrived and nested.
Helicopter - 2018
self published book, inkjet prints, 16p., 21 x 28cm
In Helicopter Axel De Marteau uses his camera to capture the choreography of a dragonfly flying overhead. The images were shot, during a residency period at Studio Omstand, in a small garden in Utrecht.
Kippenkot. open structuur. - 2018
self published book, inkjet prints, 20p., 17,5x13,5cm
"In the summer of 1977 Jef Geys decides to build a house fit to live in within a period of two months, without help of a third party, this is with his own hands, and with the help of recycled materials. In the fresh mortar of the doorstep he writes his named gives it a number in the inventory of his works. 'Did it become a work of art when I put my name in the fresh mortar and gave it a number? Anyway when the Oosthoek Encyclopedia asked me for a work of art to be published under the G of Geys and I sent it in as house project, it was refused because of "not being art" '."(from Kempens Informatieblad, Special Edition La Loge Brussels, Autumn 2017).
Inspired by Jef Geys' Chalet, his interest in the everyday, and his attention to gardening as an art form, I decided in the spring of 2018 to rebuild the henhouse situated in the garden of my studio - with my own hands, within a period of two months, without help of a third party, and by means of recuperated materials. My aim was to rebuild the henhouse, which had fallen into abeyance since years, into an open structure, a sanctuary for the many animals living in the garden.
In and out, and in and... - 2017
Archival pigment prints, wood, sugar. Various dimensions.
Exhibition views: Studio Omstand, Arnhem (NL)
In and out, and in and… . An echoing sentence that explores concepts of space; in and outside, and suggests an ongoing proces.
With this sentence in mind Axel De Marteau selected photographs from a residency period at Studio Omstand (Arnhem, The Netherlands) and wanderings in Brussels' north area. Despite the different context of these locations the images explore, each in its own way, elements related to the concepts of territory and habitat.
As a bird dives down the water - 2016
Archival pigment prints. Various dimensions.
Exhibition views: Centrale For Contemporary Art, Recyclart, CC De Markten, Brussels
Nature exists in an almost parallel world to ours. Humans and nature coexist in a same time, in a same universe, and yet succeed in being
autonomous to one another. The series As a bird dives down the water focuses on the correlation between humans and nature, in urban environments. The images are products of the search for a certain understanding of the world. They focus on moments of the banal and frivolous.
All things in nature disappear in a certain abstraction. We don’t recognize them. While the camera suggests proximity, it makes them disappear. In a way, the medium fails. Often the image is too grainy, the distance too large or the subject to quick to grasp in a photograph.
The images can be seen as signs of today’s world. They show us round in our era of change.