I mark out sections of space using the camera. Within these markings I tentatively create compositions that produce a frontal and balanced image. As I use analog cameras, I always work towards the moment of the photographic “click”. Sometimes, I feel that I am painting more than taking photographs, using the space in front of the lens as my canvas.

The title of my new series is “Stages”, which not only refers to the different stages in which the installations find themselves, but also to a stage on which the photograph ‘takes place’. Each work in the series is a decor made for a particular camera standpoint.

I paint, or attach, materials on the walls and floors and let forms materialize in that way. In fact, they are almost empty decors. At first, I wanted this work to refer to photography with its flat, rectangular shape and its different formats and negatives. After working for a while, more ‘action came on stage’, which created space for other forms to evolve as well.

I try to make the tension tangible between my desire for the ideal and my inability to achieve it. It is this impossibility that lies at the foundation of my work: the tragedy of striving, which always results in the not quite perfect.

—Femke Dekkers

Editor’s note: We first discovered Femke Dekkers’ work at Unseen Photo Fair 2013 in Amsterdam, where she was presented by Galerie Bart.