I Am About to Call It a Day • Bieke Depoorter • Magnum Photos

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I Am About to Call It a Day

Bieke Depoorter captures unguarded moments in the lives of the strangers she encounters on her 2010 journey across America

Bieke Depoorter

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“Bieke Depoorter traveled across the USA asking perfect strangers whether she could spend a single night in their homes. Short but intense encounters are important elements in the work. The openness with which she is welcomed and the intimacy that is shared with her, evoke intriguing moments. These intimate and unexpected situations gave rise to portraits of individuals, couples, and families. Depoorter intersperses them with landscapes. The images are atmospherically charged, some melancholic, some comical, some subtly menacing. They thread a fine line between a real and cinematic world.” – Maarten Dings

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call it a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2010. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“A jaundiced light envelops the wood, attempting to restrain the pitch-black night from darkening the surrounding grounds. Like a thief in the night, we catch sight of a female silhouette stretched out, an image of oblivion against the wooded backdrop. The blue white polka dot bathing suit almost escapes the eye. How easily the gaze adjusts, marveling at the shadow play in the background. Yet, much the way we might discover people worshipping the sun at summer beaches, we now watch a figure moon bathing in the nightly gloom.” – Maarten Dings

 

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2011. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“As a follow-up to her widely acclaimed book “Ou Menya”, Bieke Depoorter traveled to the United States, spending the night at the homes of perfect strangers, whose paths she crossed upon her wanderings. However, as we leaf through the book, it would hardly cross our minds that these people ever had Bieke’s company. They seem utterly oblivious, about to call it a day, as if the photographer has managed to make herself unseen, leaving only her eye behind.” – Maarten Dings

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2011. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2010. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2011. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“In reality, she won their hearts by candidly admitting to her own vulnerability. In turn, they confided in her, and so we watch these fleeting figures forever waving to us, signaling that they are still here, living their lives despite the strife and struggle.” – Maarten Dings

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2011. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call it a Day USA. 2014. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“We are immersed in obscurity. We find ourselves scarcely scratching the surface of these unpolished and unvarnished images. A surreal breeze drifts through the portraits and landscapes in this book despite their documentary nature, while the visual idiom inclines towards the cinematographic.” – Maarten Dings

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2012. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos
Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2010. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos

“Maybe these images were not meant to be fathomed; rather, the photographer is acutely aware of the inarticulate and the ineffable, melting away into thin air ever so easily. We watch how everything puzzles into place within the frame of the picture, and how once upon a time the light caressed a surface. Faraway, so close.” – Maarten Dings

Bieke Depoorter | I Am About to Call It a Day USA. 2014. © Bieke Depoorter | Magnum Photos