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An Out-of-Focus Scan, part 1. Anton Cotteleer

An Out-of-Focus Scan, part 1

Anton Cotteleer, 2021

In the first publication issued in connection with his doctoral research, Anton Cotteleer shows how, by zooming in, cropping and enlarging, he manipulates personal and anonymous family photos from the 1970s and 80s, and infuses them with a new narrative potential. These are the first steps towards the creation of the sculptures that he ultimately wants to achieve. Every stage of the thinking and working process, from the enlarged photos, through the process of sketching, to reliefs in silicone and textile, and finally the realisation of the sculpture, constitutes a new manipulation and reinterpretation of the image. With every anecdote that is told, memories change; with every scan, different aspects of an image come to the fore. Every new intervention on the supposedly factual representation of a moment both questions the veracity of the medium and seeks to create a new artistic narrative.

How does the blurredness - the lack of sharpness - in Cotteleer's photographs translate into sculpture? In earlier sculptures, he used a ''soft skin''. The contours of the sculpture become softer, less sharply delineated, and therefore, in a certain sense, more human. It is precisely this that constitutes the basis of his interest in the blurred, the out-of-focus. Currently, he is also exploring the possibilities of (this) skin in photography and reliefs.

The process of zooming in on body parts and skin quickly takes on a soft, sensual quality in the photographic images. The artist continues this in the reliefs and undoubtedly also in the sculptures, where fragments of bodies find each other. In a surreal, almost hallucinatory manner, he brings together body parts and objects, which fuse together in a sculptural manner. The question where this path leads to the continuation of his research.

(fragment from the text by Tamara Beheydt, accompanying the exhibition at M HKA)


The launch of the publication 'An Out-of-Focus Scan Part I' is accompanied by the exhibition 'INBOX: Anton Cotteleer - An Out-of-Focus Scan' from 10 September until 3 October 2021 at M HKA.


The Track Report publication 'An Out-of-Focus Scan, part 1' is the result of a phd research project by Anton Cotteleer at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp in collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Softcover; 24,5 x 30 cm; 76 pp.; color illustrations, English
Publisher: Track Report, Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp
Graphic design: Jean-Michel Meyers
Edition: 300

This book is for sale at the library of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, at the M HKA-shop, or via art&