Pierre Debusschere’s new photographic experiments on the abstract body

A view of ‘SPECTRUM’ shows bodies as a motif for self-liberation

This September in Brussels, Pierre Debusschere presents a new series of photographs at Room, the exhibition space of his creative agency 254Forest. With SPECTRUM the Belgian photographer, who photographed the cover of A Magazine Curated By Iris Van Herpen in 2014, continues his experimental research on the body as an abstract motif, and presents a vision far beyond his roots in fashion photography.

Debusschere is known for his use of new technologies and the decisive angles of his photographs. This has led him to collaborate extensively with Raf Simons,  Dior and Louis Vuitton with highly impactful films and print advertising campaigns, as well as directing music videos for Beyoncé since 2013, most recently for Already from the album Black is King.

Installation view of ‘SPECTRUM’, Pierre Debusschere exhibition at the Room, Brussels, 2020.

This exhibition marks a new chapter in Debusschere’s artistic practice and takes him towards a more intimate direction, stripped from the armor of clothes. The body is compressed and distorted, implied rather than exposed under yards of monochromatic layers of fabric echoed by saturated scenography. The apparent constraint becomes a symbol of self-liberation, and the images create a space to question the notion of identity outside of the gender binary.

Magnifying the body and revealing its abstract motif was already the main theme of  UNcovered, a personal exhibition Debusschere presented in 2018 at MAD Brussels. In 2013, he released the 52-minute film and art book I Know Simply That the Sky Will Last Longer Than I, created as a part of his solo exhibition for the 28th Hyères Festival of Fashion and Photography. The 360° project explored a distorted narrative featuring Andrew Westermann, Yannick Abrath and Ilse De Boer in an experimental light and in deep connection with his love for music. Shortly after, he photographed model Hanne Gaby Odiele wearing haute couture pieces for A Magazine Curated By Iris Van Herpen. The series, also featured as the cover, emphasizes the body as a transformative canvas which is pushed to the limits of the otherworldly.

SPECTRUM runs through October 3rd at the Room, Chaussée de Forest 254, 1060 Saint-Gilles, Brussels.

Words: Maxime Der Nahabédian


‘Materia Lacrima’

Photography by Pierre Debusschere

A Magazine N°13 Curated By Iris Van Herpen, photography by Pierre Debusschere

Hanne Gaby wears hats and shoulderpiece by Maiko Takeda

Left: Hanne Gaby wears a faux fur top and skirt by Ryan Lo and melted plastic skirt and top by Matthew Bovan. Right: Hanne Gaby wears a collar and rings by Christian Dior Haute Couture.

Hanne Gaby wears a 3D-printed latex dress by Iris van Herpen AW 2013

Left: Hanne Gaby wears a tweed dress and coat by Chanel Haute Couture and mask by Irene Bussemake. Right: Hanne Gaby wears a ruffled metal dress by Iris van Herpen AW 2008

Hanne Gaby wears a latex blazer, t-shirt and jeans with boots and beaded mask by Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal

Hanne Gaby wears a leather mask by Irene Bussemaker

Hanne Gaby wears dresses and capes by Viktor & Rolf Haute Couture

Left: Hanne Gaby wears an agate top by Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal. Right: Hanne Gaby wears a necklace by Heaven Tanudiredja

Left: Hanne Gaby wears an iridescent tree dress by Iris van Herpen AW 2013. Right: Hanne Gaby wears a faux fur coat and skirt by Ryan Lo and knit straw top by Cassandra Verity Green

Hanne Gaby wears a silk dress by Christian Dior Haute Couture

Hanne Haby wears a catsuit by Iris van Herpen SS 2009 and 3D-printed shoes by Rem D. Koolhaas for Iris van Herpen AW 2013

Hanne Gaby wears a ruffled cotton cape dress by Holly Penfold

‘Materia Lacrima’ by Pierre Debusschere in A Magazine N°13 Curated By Iris Van Herpen
Photography: Pierre Debusschere at Art + Commerce
Styling: Robbie Spencer at Intrepid
Model: Hanne Gaby Odiele at IMG
Makeup: Adrien Pinault at Management + Artists
Hart Stylist: Cyril Laloue at Julian Watson
Stylist Assistant: Coline Bach
Photography Assistant: Ismaël Moumin

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