No spectacular events are captured in Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt’s photographies, no political or moralizing messages. Instead, there are fragments of life, moments of everyday life, in all their funny, tender, touching and sometimes sad aspects.
Each photograph composes a small story, a chronicle of the banality that he sublimates. Tender images, sometimes painful, leaving doubts and questions, which persist in the mind as a song with nostalgic accents. The photographs of Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt deliver the whole range of feelings, preferring to the burst of laughter the complicit smile, to the tears a soft melancholy.
“With Vanden Eeckhoudt one is never confronted with the event, with the great hours of history, but with the intricacies of daily life, in little ceremonies in which the strange and the absurd are not foreign. His photography is the place of small personal celebrations, aerial like the ballet of a dancer on the background of Taj Mahal, or that of his son Nicolas, jumping in a public garden, explosions of bodies and euphoria, celebrations for oneself, as the face bows to keep still a little bit of sun, moments stolen from the flow of the day that the photographer knew how to keep.
The people who populate his pictures seem to be going their own way, in groups or alone, in the space that the photographer assigns to them, attaching the same care to the setting as to the models. The photographer excels in capturing the gestures of the dancer, the musician, the weaver, the worker, the majorette or the balancing act, spontaneous, silent choreographies that leisure or work provoke, sculptures of flesh in weightlessness.” Xavier Canonne in the book published on the occasion of the exhibition.
When he passed away in 2015, Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt left 13,000 negatives that his wife Mary van Eupen searched and selected. The exhibition presents nearly 250 photographs, half of which are unpublished.