Stuffed foxes, mausoleum dedicated to Elvis Presley, colourful construction games, surreal knick-knacks… Jean-Luc Feixa, a French photographer based in Belgium drove across the country looking for the most beautiful window decorations. An amusing work, revealing intriguing details on these neighbours we never really get to know.
“I originally wanted to find a subject that would be compatible with my professional life. Finding some free time to dedicate to photography is often impossible and can become quite frustrating. I needed a simple project, that I could work on daily”, the creator of Strange things behind Belgian windows explains. Though started alongside Brume et poussière (Mist and dust, ed.), the series stands out with more realistic aesthetics, seeking to merely capture the ordinary. “Brume et poussière, by comparison, was a reflexion of a sentimental state, the work was far more personal and introspective”, the photographer tells us.
Between voyeurism and observation
Over the last four years, Jean-Luc Feixa has roamed the streets of Belgium, walking around a different neighbourhood each week-end, searching for these strange altars. Between voyeurism and mere observation, the photographer reveals, through his Smartphone or old Nikon camera, the quirky collections of the country’s inhabitants. “The feeling of behind both inside and out fascinated me. And the possibility to learn more about the passions of a person only through this compendium of trinkets as well”, he says.
Shooting quickly, to avoid all suspicion – “someone photographing a window may easily be perceived as suspicious” – the artist captures atypical treasures. An experience proving to be dangerous. “I was once arrested by the police. I was shooting near the Embassies in Brussels, and when I tried to show the picture on my camera, it ran out of battery. I had to go to the police station to show my pictures on screen… What a great moment!”, he says with irony. With a charming casualness, Jean-Luc Feixa reveals the unexpected poetry of these sceneries built between two worlds. Absurd, touching or frightening, these scenes seem designed to interact with anonymous passers-by. A collection of colourful images celebrating eccentricity.
© Jean-Luc Feixa