Van Zoetendaal Publishers

October 9, 2013

Geert Goiris

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Everything comes together in Geert Goiris’ latest book, Lying Awake. Goiris’ photos always give me the same feeling as when photography was first discovered as a subject of importance. Are these really representations of the planet we are living on? Yes, Goiris has that unique view on the world that causes me to lose myself in faraway places, even though those locations may actually be physically close by. Despite the fact that you will not see so many people in the majority of the photos, you get the uneasy feeling that you’re permanently being observed. Observed by your spirits perhaps, or those of your ancestors that roamed around in these landscapes, or even by the ghost of Goiris himself. This is the kind of continuous sense of apprehension that you experience when you look at the photos, as though you are under some kind of pressure. The photos force you to look at them, demanding your attention, due also to Goiris’ immaculate perfectionism that never strays into overstatement. Each photo (in the past we would have called it the technical plate camera technique) is superbly composed and illustrates perfectly the use of colour and subtle harmony. From the ratio of the images on the white of the perfect book format, the lithography (done by Goiris himself, I strongly suspect), through to the print work by printer Mart Spruijt (unfortunately forced to cease activities due to bankruptcy), everything is extraordinary. The design by Roger Willems is exceptional, the paper quality is superb, and with its hardbound cover with exactly the right thickness of plates, there’s no one today that can bind books as well as bookbinder Van Waarden. And as icing on the cake, there are three short essays to be discovered inside, printed on uncoated paper and in pocket format: in one word, unbelievable!

Geert Goiris, Lying Awake (Roma Publications) 2013

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