Belgian solutions consists of a growing collection of photographs taken mainly in public spaces, on the streets and in the backyards of Belgium. But above all, Belgian solutions is a title that has become a figure of speech: “Look, a Belgian solution”. It is an expression to frame and share a find.
I have been living in Belgium since 2002, working as an artist with different tools and media. Trained as a composer, but with my hands in print media, performances and visual installations, I started to understand my approach as generally conceptual. Belgian Solutions is a conceptual art project for me. It contains photography, but it’s not so much about the individual photograph, but about the way it directs our gaze and helps us see human traces in things. It calls them by their names – “solutions” – and is thus also a work of language.
It all started when I didn’t stop photographing situations, which I later began to publish on Facebook under this title. After a while, people sent me more and more photos, not only from Belgium, of course, but from all over the world, pictures that in very different and individual ways kept saying: “Look at this beauty!”
On the project’s Facebook page – and for a few years also on Instagram – everyone could upload their own photos, their own ‘object trouvés’. By now, the social media profiles and my inbox really do contain a lot of photos, endless rows of beautiful evidence of our obsession with documenting the absurd and the funny, the clever, the smart, the not so smart, the just a little bit smart but often wild solutions to everyday survival.
In 2013 the first book “Belgian solutions – Volume 1” was published with 300 images of Belgian solutions, including 40 photos that people send me. In 2016 “Volume 2” followed and “Volume 3” saw the light in 2022! All three books are published by Luster, Antwerp. The books have received an enormous national and international media coverage.
If you want to know about me and my other projects: www.davidhelbich.be