Born in Belgium, Depoorter graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Ghent in 2009. She became a Magnum nominee in 2011 following the release of her first book, Ou Menya. Shot for her graduation project, the series was made up of portraits of people she met during three trips across Russia.

Together with Agata, Bieke Depoorter explores the complexities of the photographic enterprise, grappling with the relationship between photographer and subject. By diving deep into a collaborative working dynamic with a Polish woman she met in a strip club in Paris, she creates a small alternate universe that raises more questions than it offers answers: Who made these images? Who is the subject? Who is Agata? This project is both the story of a young woman searching for identity by playing with it as if it were a toy and the story of Depoorter experimenting with the fragility of photographic authorship. Most of all, it’s the product of a photographer and a subject consciously agreeing to, as both Agata and Depoorter have put it, “use each other.” This photograph is taken from a trip they made to Beirut in August, 2018.

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