“One often looks at the work of Arnaud De Wolf with a sen­se of dis­be­lief. Is that ima­ge of a gigan­tic ice cube real­ly flo­a­ting in mid-air? Is that colour­ful pic­tu­re of an ancient forest a realis­tic depic­ti­on or is it a digi­tal fabri­ca­ti­on, a fan­ci­ful re-cre­a­ti­on? What are we meant to discern in his cya­no­ty­pe prints: random blue lines sur­roun­ding whi­te voids of various sha­pes and sizes or the con­tours of a moun­tai­nous lands­ca­pe? By means of an uncon­ven­ti­o­nal presen­ta­ti­on of the pho­to­grap­hic ima­ge, sim­ply turning it on its side or pro­jec­ting it into a cor­ner or using out­da­ted tech­ni­ques, such as the cyano­ty­pe, De Wolf pre­sents us with works that hover bet­ween the cla­ri­ty of descrip­ti­on and the arti­fi­ci­a­li­ty of inven­ti­on. A pro­jec­ted bund­le of light sud­den­ly trans­forms into a three-dimensional object; abstract lines coa­gu­la­te into a legi­ble form; colours beco­me deceit­ful­ly (un)real.
In each of his expe­ri­ments, De Wolf is tes­ting the boun­da­ries of the pho­to­grap­hic sys­tem, looking for that brea­king point whe­re the photograph loses its rea­da­bi­li­ty and easy acces­si­bi­li­ty. His tho­rough inves­ti­ga­ti­on of colour is par­ti­cu­lar­ly reve­a­ling: Fading forest makes abun­dant­ly clear that colour in photograp­hy is always arti­fi­ci­al. The colours that we see in a pho­to­graph are tech­no­lo­gi­cally and cul­tu­ral­ly coded; they are made in the chemist’s lab or pro­du­ced by a programmer’s algo­rithm. Colour is here reve­a­led as the manipu­la­ti­ve garb in which the pho­to­grap­hic ske­le­ton is dres­sed.