2017 September 16, 3 pm
For this ongoing project, Jacquie Maria Wessels visits auto repair garages around the world – including Cambodia, Cuba, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey and Russia – discovering different shapes, objects and textures in this environment that is so utterly new to her. In the unique interiors of the old garages, she arranges her newly discovered materials in such a way as to create images reminiscent of a collage. All garages seem to have the same stereotypical elements. Only at second glance does the viewer discover small cultural differences that can be found in the details.
Nowadays cars have become much more sophisticated and computers replace the work of the mechanics. As a result, modern car repair garages get automatized and cleaner, looking increasingly like laboratories instead of personal spaces with an organized chaos. The series ‘Garage Stills’ shows the intriguing appearance of the old manual labour garages that are slowly vanishing.
Wessels approaches this project from her background in documentary making while also drawing on the freedom to move or remove objects and to highlight her settings. Her photographs are deliberately not digitally manipulated. Wessels constructs her compositions solely with the objects she finds in the garages. In her still lifes, functional objects are transformed into an aesthetic composition and become almost abstract. The colour schemes in the resulting still life images are remarkable and often have a playful beauty. The mechanics themselves do not feature in the images but we feel their presence, the atmosphere and the hustle and bustle of their working environment in the moments she captures in these photographic stills.