Sometimes its necessary to take ourselves out of the stress and worries of everyday life, the rituals of work and deadlines, bills and future plans and see the world for what it is, a place outside human interference that can offer us a small measure of peace and tranquility. And that is what Erwin Van Den Brande has done in these photographs from his series ‘The World That Surrounds Us”.
This collection of pictures look to decontextualise familiar scenes in order to make them timeless, captivating, a respite from the modern world, from consumerism and cultural dictatorships. It’s an attempt to create an idyll, an open space for contemplation, rest, peace, a sort of zen garden in which we can lose ourselves in the moment without care for the past or future.
To this end the photographs are simple. They want to transport us to a place we can never reach, they are a view of an impossibility that we can glimpse at but never grasp. They appeal to our suffering but torture us in their reflective glory. This duality makes them difficult to look at for the longer you wallow in their aura the more likely you are to fall short, count your shortcomings, take residence in the worst aspects of your life. So tread carefully. Rest easy. Breathe deep. Here’s what Brande has to say about photography:
Throughout life it is important to regularly stop and look at the world that surrounds us. Moreover we must try to spot the unusual and extraordinary things around us and take the time to contemplate the effect they have on us emotionally and what message we can take from them. It is also important to behold these emotions and messages in a temperate and interested manner.