Analogue Fine Art Photography

26 February 2012

Soirée France-Belgique/ Vernissage-Récital "Le Grand Jacques", photos by Mechtild Op Gen Oorth

Soirée France-Belgique/ Vernissage-Récital
"Le Grand Jacques", photos by Mechtild Op Gen Oorth

Join us for the opening of an exhibition of photos by Mechtild Op Gen Oorth inspired by Belgian-born singer Jacques Brel's timeless words, followed by a recital of Brel's songs with Cabaret DuobMarick & Elaine. The photographer will be present, a vin d’honneur will be served and the exhibition is open until March 30th on the 2nd floor of the Alliance.

Raindrops glimmer on the table at a garden restaurant during autumn. An empty room speaks of dramatic events in the past. This is how the Cologne artist Mechthild Op Gen Oorth introduces Jacques Brel’s chanson
"Ne me quitte pas" (Don’t leave me) She enhances with the silouettes of two fishermen huddled at the beach under low hanging rainy clouds "Le plat pays"( The flat land ). "“La chanson des vieux amants “"( The song of old lovers) she embroiders large mountains with a tiny pair of lovers overlooking the sunset. The melancolic mood of the immortal songs by Jacques Brel (1929–1978) could not better depicted than in the 28 picturesque black and white photographs with a soft tone of sepia, presented under the title


Mechthild OP Gen Oorth who works exclusively analog and enlarges every photo herself, found the motives in Belgium and the North of France.

How does one get the idea of turning music into photography? Her answer: “I find it exhiting two combine two instruments of art. I did that already with my exhibit “OVER THE RAILROAD TRACK”. Where I took the portraits of old Blues musicians in Juke Joints in Mississippi." This exhibit was shown last year in Cologne, the artist told, and in Chicago during November 2011, where the artist has a second residence since 1995. She was born in Hamburg, as a grandchild to Arthur Illies, the impressionistic painter. At the age of seven she started to take photos of him with an Agfa Box and 6:9 cm film. 35 years later she moved to Cologne, where her two children were born and raised and where she startet her career as a fashion photographer. Soon she became recognized by leading experts—the Cologne “ Pope of Photography” Prof. L. Fritz Gruber considered her:

”As a photographer she is of a class that is very seldom found and capable of combining her excellent knowledge of photography, lab work and artistic ideas into one masterpiece. Her black and white motives seem to hover over the white surface.”

Several years ago she got the call to become member of the
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photography (German Society of Photography)—which presents something like a Knight-Hood in Photography. Just as poetic as her portraits are her photos of a hardly glamorous Berlin which she exhibited 2009 in the Capital and in cooperation with the local German Consulate General 2010 in Chicago. Of these pictures she also published a small book.

Alliance Francaise Chicago

Thursday, March 01, 2012 6:30 p.m. 54 W. Chicago Avenue
Free Admission