The Belgian artist Ives Maes travels the world looking for evidence of world fairs, from the first one staged in London in 1851 to the most recent, the Shanghai World Expo in 2010.
Ives Maes photographs any architectural remains of these short-lived events and the sites on which they were built, often revealing an ironic contrast between the grand futuristic ideals of the time and the urban reality of the modern world. The exhibition pavilions expressed a utopian vision of promise for the future.
Maes’ photographs are afterimages, lingering vestiges of now fading dreams. STAM’s presentation of forty of these images illustrates the sculptural quality of Ives Maes’ photographic work.
The Afterimages exhibition at STAM is a prelude to the city-wide commemoration of the 1913 World Fair in Ghent. A hundred years on, many of Ghent’s cultural houses are devoting an exhibition or event to the ‘century of progress’. www.gent.be/1913-2013
Little remains of the architecture on the site of Ghent’s 1913 world fair. However, in STAM’s Afterimages a virtual, interactive 3D-maquette gives us an idea of what it looked like and its scale (in cooperation with Ghent City Archive).
In 2012 Ives Maes joined KASK / School of Arts, HoGent as a researcher.
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