Arian Christiaens has been working as a photographer and photography teacher since graduating as a Master at KASK (Ghent) in 2004.
Arian Christiaens’s photography does not provide a window on the world but is a means to capture a reality beyond the visible world. She compels us to slow down and invites us to auto-interpret her pictures and critically approach the medium itself.
— Anja Hellebaut
Almost overnight, the long-nurtured project of making a portrait series of my own family bobbed back to the surface, with the Coronavirus lockdown providing the right time and context.
The daily pictures in the ‘HOME’ series are my way of conveying the threat from outside but also the slowing down and the interdependence between the members of our family. Each image fixes a moment in a time characterised by uncertainty as much as comfort and stillness.
The dynamic in and between our looks is a defining element of the series. Looking into the lens is a means of looking outwards, to the Other, which is taken to be the viewer but also the threat, the invisible enemy which could potentially harm the family.
This ongoing series is a kind of ritual and a fixture for our family in these vulnerable times. Posting the ‘Home’ picture of the day on social media elicits interaction with our friends, family and a wider audience.
The added value of making this series for me personally lies in the overlay of my roles as an artist, photographer, mother, partner and model.
Each picture is the result of a brief but solid cooperation.
On the one hand, there is me, the maker of the picture, aiming for interesting light, playing with composition, positions and symbols in order to lay out my image.
Besides, there are the other family members, whose mutual relationships, individual moods, ideas and input all leave their mark on the final picture, which fills me, the maker, with an interesting tension between steering and letting go as well as a sense of urgency to shoot this moment of tension in a few clicks of the camera.
For all the apparent gravity, there is also a playful aspect to the series. We play a game in which we show ourselves to the camera, to an audience. The series is not conceived of as a reportage but as a document in which we stage our own play, which hovers between real and unreal. As does this bizarre situation.