When we think of images that have left a mark on our society, it is often photographs that come to mind first. Since its invention, photography has helped shape the representation of the world. As an arts programme, the Ghent photography major is fully aware of this ‘worldly’ role of the discipline. This awareness defines the very core of the programme that is renowned throughout the field of both professional and artistic photography.
Our programme distinguishes itself by a very intensive individual coaching. We guide young photographers towards an autonomous insight into the nature of photography. Initially you work on open assignments that help you to create personal images and ideas. Different instructors discuss the various challenges with you that an aspiring photographer must formulate to him- or herself. This process evolves over two tracks: from the formulation of a personal question you work towards a form, and you also appropriate a method of documentary research. You intensively explore and investigate these two tracks in a dialogue with lecturers who each have their own perspective on photography. Your teachers are photographers in their own right where the studio serves as a meeting place. Simultaneously, you explore the technical aspects of photography, both analogue and digital, from 35-mm to technical cameras. Our technical support and lending service give you all the material backup you need.
As you progress through the programme, your photographic work becomes based more and more in your own mental processes. We do not consider the technical aspect of photography as an end in itself, but as an indispensable foundation for anyone who wishes to consciously direct the images he or she makes. Ideas about photography should be able to resonate in forms, and vice versa. Going in for photography with us, you learn to think not just of the image itself, but also of the potential contexts where that image will be viewed.
In the bachelor programme, you learn ways to exhibit your work, and who wishes to do so can also prepare a publication. Having gained your bachelor’s degree, you can start the master programme where you focus your ambitions as a photographer in a personal artistic project. Some master students, for whom a conceptual, strictly artistic approach to the medium takes precedence, radically challenge established views on photography. Others prefer to persuade the world with documentary work that is the result of a long and intensive creative process. Although this is never an end in itself, it often happens that our students’ work makes its way into the art world or printed press even during their time at the academy.
Some of our graduates develop an oeuvre as artists, while others make careers in the printed press or as freelance photographers with their own studios. The great number of renowned graduates attests to the consistent quality of our programme. We train authors, people who have something to say with the images they make.
The programma boast a considerable number of very fine artists: Dirk Braeckman, Carl De Keyzer, Jan Kempenaers, Mekhitar Garabedian, Katrien Vermeire, Nick Hannes, Lieve Blancquaert, Michiel Hendryckx, Johan Jacobs… In recent years we pride ourselves in such graduates as Bieke Depoorter, Zaza Bertrand, Sybren Vanoverberghe, Frederik Buyckx, Maroesjka Lavigne, Stefaan Temmerman, Sebastian Steveniers, Joachim Naudts, Lisa Spilliaert, Sanne De Wilde, Max Pinckers, Tom Callemin,…
Reinhart De Grendel
Annelies de Mey