Promises of the Mind : Photography of Yuri Andries

Yuri Andries was born in 1986 in Sint-Niklaas. He lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. These images belong to his photo series ‘Promises of the Mind’. In his photography, Yuri attempts to look for a human presence amidst roughness and sublimity of nature. He captures the cosmic insignificance and fragility of man. Through subtle interventions and an elevated viewing position, he makes us aware of the uncontrollable reality around us.

These pictures were taken in Algarve, Portugal.

About : I studied graphic design at KASK, Ghent. The last two years before my graduation I did a research on the strong ability of divergent thinking with young children. Out of these studies, I made 12 works all in different disciplines. Video, photography, book design, installations, 3d posters, etc. I always liked to do new stuff. Also as a kid I had too many hobbies. When I had the feeling I understood how it was done, I would quit. I bought my first camera when I was 21. And there something changed. With a strong love and hate relationship I held on to it. How could something look so easy, but be so complex? It took me a while before I started to take better pictures. I learned a lot about light in the one-and-half year I worked as an assistant for two fashion/advertising photographers. What I like the most about photography is being in new places with different people with all your senses at full power. It’s like you can see everything crystal clear again. I like and dislike the fact that you don’t have everything in complete control while taking pictures. But I love to be surprised and photography gives you that.

Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_01Statement  & preferences : I Believe I am a fragmented person. But what I know so far is that I am attracted to everything that dances on the line between fiction and non-fiction. A good image or painting for me is one where you can find mystery. Where you start wondering what happened before or what will happen after that moment. I am not really what you can call an experienced photographer. But I have noticed that going to a place without any concept in mind works best for me. For a new series I took a plane to Lanzarote and for the first 5 days I just checked as much areas as I could. As ideas started coming I began to write things down and register some places with my camera. With 4-5 words in my head I started to arrange everything to take the first pictures. This time I worked on staged pictures, which was not the case with ‘Promises of the Mind’. I had to find people who wanted to pose (nude) and could be a model for a few hours, which was an adventure in itself. I gave myself the freedom to try a lot of new things and not to narrow it down too quickly. I brought my computer with me so I could evaluate in the evening what I had made.

Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_02Back in Belgium I printed a big selection in contact-sheets to see where this project is going and how the images work together. Going out of the place and taking a pause really helped me to see other things I couldn’t see while working in Lanzarote. In September I am going back for two more weeks with a stronger concept in mind. When it comes to the subject, they just represent things for me. Even when it comes to portrait I am not really interested in telling something about the person itself. I see them more as actors who help me in what I want to tell. I work with a canon 5D MkIII. My favorite lenses are 35, 50 and 85mm. I like the digital because I like to ‘sketch’ first. You can build towards an image more clear and it’s fast!

Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_03Influences & favorite stuff : I am fascinated by artists who can turn banal things into magic. A real master in this is filmmaker Roy Andersson. I am a huge fan of his trilogy. Also his first film A Swedish Love Story really stuck with me. It’s a portrayal of the trembling, slightly insecure first love so many recognize from their teenage years. But it’s also about the young couple’s parents, adults who are dealing with accepting that dreams don’t come true. Another great artist who is a master with contradictions is Ori Gerscht. In some of his work you will find brutal violence and beauty at the same time. A great inspiration for every imagemaker and a must see is The five obstructions from Lars Von Trier. To name a few others: Larry Sultan, Jeff Wall, Max Pinkers, Alec Soth, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Harry Gruyaert, Rineke Dijkstra, Christopher Anderson, Edward Hopper, Pieter Bruegel the Elder…

Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_04 Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_05 Yuri_Andries_PromisesOfTheMind_06All photos © Yuri Andries : Website | Instagram

About Nishant Mishra

Nishant studied art history and literature at the university during 1990s. He works as a translator in New Delhi, India and likes to read about arts, photography, films, life-lessons and Zen.

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