Bram Van Stappen: Ratio
Bram Van Stappen, Dominique Somers (text)
Stockmans Art Books, 2022
The work Ratio consists of 117 images featuring the same number of naked men and women photographed from behind. Bram Van Stappen made the series as part of the exhibition Back, organised in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2021. Over a period of six weeks, the photographer set up a field studio and invited visitors to undress and take place in front of the camera, yet face the opposite direction. Set in a generic surrounding and central composition, evenly lit and tightly cropped, the resultant black-and-white images display a form of (anti)portraiture that seems above all to be a study in paradox. For how do we read this collection of head- and legless torsos that do not even face us? How can bodies this naked and exposed appear so walled off and private? So unique and at the same time universal?