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Bieke Depoorter: Agata (Signed, 2nd edition)

Bieke Depoorter: Agata (Signed, 2nd edition)

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In October 2017 Depoorter met Agata in a strip club in Paris. Over the next three years, the women dove deep into a collaboration, creating a small alternative universe that served as a container for them to explore questions they each had regarding identity, performance, and representation: Who is the true subject? Who is Agata? Who is Agata when being photographed? Who is Bieke? Who is Bieke when making photographs? What are the motives and motivations? Who is responsible for what?

The book tells both the story of a young woman using a photographer to find some sense of identity, and the story of a photographer using a young woman to better understand photographic authorship and herself. These intertwined narratives are threaded via a combination of images, letters, and notes, but what defines the dialogue is the ever-present reflex of self-awareness and self-reflection. The result is a project that never lands on any sort of conclusive truth, instead highlighting the slippery nature of truth in situations where power, responsibility, and control are in a constant state of flux. 

As a whole, Agata is a project that asks more questions than it offers answers, first recognizing the well-worn idea of photographer-as-witness as a relative impossibility, then throwing all players involved under the microscope: photographer, subject, audience, and, of course, the medium itself. 


Title: Agata
Publisher: Des Palais (self published), 2021, second edition 2022
Concept: Tom Callemin, Ramon Pez, Bieke Depoorter
Author: Texts by Agata Kay, Bieke Depoorter
Photographer: Bieke Depoorter
Graphic Design: Ramon Pez, Bieke Depoorter
Format: Japanese binding with perforations on the fold plus addendum
Size: 32 x 24 cm, 424 pages
ISBN: 9789464590272

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