One consequence of my father’s work as a consultant has been moving around from country to country (8) since 1950, a tradition I continued, living/working as a scientist in 7 different countries. This meant a frequent change to new situations, new landscapes, new people and new environments.
Maybe as a result of these moves, but certainly also from the richness and diversity of ‘culture’ encountered, came the wish and urge to record & remember. In this sense my photography has a strong documentary connotation.
Over this period, i.e. since the fifties, the world changed dramatically faster and faster, globalization followed post war modernisation, sadly often at the expense of loss of culture, identity and sense of history. Traditional values and lifestyle were too often discharged as old, use- and valueless. Knowledge reaching/rooting back thousand of years was forgotten, a fact I deeply regretted. I began to document, what was still there, through photography backed by my own research.
While I know that the process of forgetting is irreversible, I try to give the past a ‘voice’ and hope society will eventually comprehend that if we do not try to understand and honour the past, albeit with a critical eye, we will have difficulties understanding present times and more so handling the future.
In the early nineteen sixties Michael began documenting his world on [grainy] b&w film. In his photos he recorded people, events and sites/views of interest to him in Belgium. Bolivia, Canada, Greece, Germany, Italy, Indonesia, Ireland, Mali, Morocco, Peru and Spain.
In 2004 photography became a more important part of his life and he started showing his work internationally, below a selection of exhibitions:
2004, solo exhibition “Feldzeichen” in Kulturzentrum Sinnsteden/Koeln, Germany,
2004, show with W. Dengel “The Art of Destruction”, Galerie Usine, Brussels, Belgium
2004, group show “Best of 5”, Galerie Usine, Brssels, Belgium
2006, group show “The others in Ireland”, Belltable Arts Centre, Limerick, Ireland
2006, solo show “Deconstruction”, Palazzina delle Arti, La Spezia, Italy
2008, solo show “ Portraits of the Artist as an old Man”, Wexford Arts Centre, Ireland
2008, group show “Mid-Land”, Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland
2009, solo show “Deconstruction II”, Posa&Posa Gallery, La Spezia, Italy.
A series of books were self-published, among them:
‘Master of the Forge’, ; ‘Feldzeichen’, ; ‘Last Port of Call’, ; ‘Colm Breen: Coachmaker’, .
In mid 2017 together with Anya von Gosseln and Claudio Nego he started the photographic space KAMERA ¥