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‘Tim Onderbeke: Candles – A Photographic Novel’

Mer. Borgerhoff & Lamberigts


Candles is a photographic essay by Tim Onderbeke. Fascinated by the sacred, ritual, and cerebral act of lighting a candle, the artist began collecting images of candles and candlesticks in an artistic or art-historical context. 

In Candles, Onderbeke uses his own work and that of others to research what he calls ‘the colour of darkness’, or negative space—a concept he borrowed from the Japanese writer and essayist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. Onderbeke sees a burning candle as an implosion of architectural space where the centre is usually kept empty. A burning candle in a dark room reverses that experience, and influences our perception of space, time and atmosphere.

In addition to Tim Onderbeke’s work, Candles also shows works by a.o. Martin Kippenberger, Anne Imhof, Juliaan Lampens, Le Corbusier, Peter Zumthor, Charlemagne Palestine, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Pieter De Bruyne, Damian O’Sullivan, and Robert Filliou. Wolfgang Becker, art historian and former director of the Ludwig Forum Aachen, wrote an accompanying text.

Mer. Borgerhoff & Lamberigts, 2023, 112 pages, softcover, English

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