Bieke Depoorter Would Like to Go to the Moon

The acclaimed photographer on her newest project, the value of going outside
one’s comfort zone, and her ideal place for a residency

Bieke Depoorter. Photo © Sebastian Steveniers.

If you had to show just one of your images to someone who had never seen your work and knew nothing about you, which image would you show them, and why?

I think I would show this photograph from my project “Michael.” Without having to explain the project, this photograph for me also talks about how we use images—and about the importance of images and editing.


You also shoot for commercial clients, such as Alexander McQueen, and are a director (your music video for Bolis Pupul, for example). How do these projects inform your artistic practice, and vice versa?

Sometimes it’s good to do short projects in between the often very long-term projects I am often doing. In those projects, I learn how to act quicker, without doubting too long, as that is not possible in an assignment. It also takes me out of my comfort zone, which I think is helpful too. I learn a lot from assignments. I also started many of my personal projects through assignments.

Watch the VIDEO here !

“Michael,” by Bieke Depoorter.

Tell us about an influential or inspiring encounter you had outside of your practice—an experience that stays with you in generative ways.

I am currently working on a new project named “Carte Mémoire.” It’s a project about the fragility of memory. I am telling the story with astronomy as a backdrop. In this context, I have met many scientists and astronomers in the past year. I am not often “starstruck,” but I am each time I meet one of them.

If you could live in a museum for a week, which one would you choose, and why?

I would like to be part of the Lunar Codex, a project in which they send art to the moon in six time capsules. I would love to go to the moon to do a residency in the museum there.

What’s an example of an exercise or experiment that you will take participants
through in your “Encounters” workshop?

I will adapt to the needs of the group. But I would like to do a writing exercise to try to find out where the voices in our heads come from that make us doubt our creative process. These voices are usually not from ourselves, but from other people who
have made us insecure. I have done this myself and it has helped me a lot.

What’s one thing you’re looking forward to doing/seeing/eating/feeling in

I look forward to the sun, the sea, the food, grilled fish, the wind, beautiful light, sandals, and to having many conversations about photography with the participants of the workshop. I look forward to hearing the stories of whom and what everyone photographed, to talk about people’s experiences in the city, and to get to know the island better through the eyes of each photographer participating.

Bieke Depoorter x Palm Tree Workshops: “Encounters,” 29 April–3 May, 2024.