Dieter De Lathauwer
Visual arts :: photography

It didn't take me long to realize the escape, once again, wouldn't work
_ Introduction to the work
_Wall views

_ Introduction to the work.

This work is simple in its elaboration: made in one afternoon on an island with a turbulent history. The work follows a clear and linear course in which the misty afternoon slowly slips into the darkness.

'It didn’t take me long to realize the escape once again wouldn’t work' by Dieter De Lathauwer became a reflection on place and walking as a solution for inner problems. It was a failed attempt to escape. Started as a known approach to the landscape. Ended with the landscape turning out to be an obstacle. This intimate and poetic book is about accepting failure and weakness, turning it into something new.


It didn't take me long to realize the escape, once again, wouldn't work
explores a supposedly green utopia, a group of islands southeast of Helsinki, Finland.

A dark basso continuo lingers through the work, dark poetry oscillating between reason and feeling. The photographer examines the expectations culturally and socioeconomically marked landscapes evoke. He reflects on the imposed purpose of things and on the inevitable failure inherent to trying too hard: the ever returning disillusionment embedded in the never ceasing human endeavor .

For the first time the photographer chooses the register of self-examination and emotion.

Plagued by a sense of unease, De Lathauwer sees his visit to a Finnish archipelago as an escape, a desire to heal through landscape and photography. He is lured by the promise of a green, tranquil environment. The idea of crossing water as a mental transition. Upon arrival, redemption seems closer than ever: the islands promisingly host a cultural attraction, a fortress recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. However, the exhilarating feeling soon gives way to a sense of alienation. The expected consolation fails to occur. Questions arise: is the healing power of landscape and photography an illusion and above all a construction?

Dieter De Lathauwer consciously accepts and embraces this nonfulfillment translating his experience into a book. He learns to let go of photography and landscape as a tools to achieve inner peace and to look differently, more freely.

In addition to images that evoke a mysterious beauty this little gem contains personal notes and reproductions of two old maps of the archipelago. It reveals itself in the details: in the curve of a knotted, weathered string or in the shadow of a leaf on a shiny surface. De Lathauwer knows how to turn a failure into something comforting and valuable.

Text by Sofie Crabbé

_ Selection of images



The book will be copublished by VOID mid-2022. 

This is an image of my own preliminary version.

More info soon !!!

_Wall views / Installation view

The work as presented for an exhibition consists out of several works, each containing a combination of 1 to 4 archival inkjet prints on Japanese paper, manually varnished, pencil, mounted with oldschool photo corners on bamboo notebook paper. Framed in darkgreen wood with UV70 antireflective glass.

︎ ︎ ︎ ︎ ︎.   
©  by Dieter De Lathauwer.