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
‘Xenia’ is a combination of recent and past portraits that I made of my sister, who I grew up with as my brother. They span a period of 17 years. I use the act of making portraits as an attempt to communicate and understand my sister’s personality and to investigate my relation with photography.
‘Xenia’ handles the search for identity and how people struggle with fitting in society. Next to this search for identity, I also address the limitations of portraiture and the inability of photography to tell the truth.
What is constructed and what is real? Who is Xenia as a character and what does she express? The fear to exist, to (not) feel at ease in your own body and environment, the complexity of one’s personality are themes that I deal with in this body of work that floats between a photographic documentary and a (staged) story.
This in an ongoing project and it was published last year in book form by Art Paper Editions. Depending on the context I show this work in book form, analog slide projection or print.