Debbaut-L’Ecluse’s world is more archaic than contemporary, more ancient than postmodern, more eternal than provisory. The photographer is a temporary witness that will not survive what is photographed itself. The rock, the mountain, the hill may be there for a while, but the human being? No, he is no more than a breeze. Human lives are brief compared to an eroded rock or a slow-growing tree.
Human beings stand bent over looking down, down to the ground, down to the earth. Turned downwards. Petrified. Or as the photographer himself described it: Rock, skin, bluestone, fur, bark are reduced to one matter. A world as a sculpture garden of busts and torsos, marble with flesh, where the photographer leans over his camera with his bent back and takes us into landscapes where Sisyphus, Atlas, Noah, Sirens or Icarus would feel at home.
From Stephan Vanfleteren’s afterword in the book ‘Gesenkter’, December 2021