Fotograf Magazine

Radeq Brousil

The subtle immediacy of Radeq Brousil

Radeq Brousil (b. 1980), studies and scholarships: Brussels, Montreal, Prague. In systematically building his own myth, he has based it on deliberate subversion. A sense of visual fragmentariness is to him an authentic expression of the contemporary experience, and probably also of the contemporary understanding of the world. The ambiguity of interpretation and the artist’s elusiveness are both intentional and obvious. Radeq Brousil wants to enjoy himself, be onstage; he wants to both irritate and to be a success. Aside from this, however, there is no doubt that just as with many other artists, he wants to be read precisely and on a completely different level. The games, masks, life, reality, coldness, rawness, obsession, and falsity, as well as vulgarity, of Brousil’s photographs at times suddenly and surprisingly break into unexpected poetry and tenderness. It is thanks to this quality that we cannot dismiss Radeq Brousil quite so easily. His photographs are in fact covertly romantic, melancholy images of loneliness and fear. The clear background of his works, which deliberately draw us with greater or lesser degrees of intensity into suspected, dark passions, is nonetheless formed by the artist’s self-possession and consideration for just how far he lets us in. Desire is present, yet hidden, as is the balancing act that Radeq Brousil employs. He offers his images for decoding, presenting them with great consideration. Masks are a favorite device: hidden behind the mask, looking out through the mask. The demonstrated voyeur is a clever fellow. He anticipates our thoughts, offering us the bait of his voyeurism even before we can uncover it for ourselves. All the more difficult for us then to give up this ready offering, a complication of coding, in our interpretation. One cannot deny the artist a certain aesthetic value and erudition. In terms of form, he knows exactly what he wants to avoid, and in terms of content, intuitively rather than rationally he rummages in the bric-a-brac as well as treasures of personal secrets, in order to impudently thrust them in the face of our own reflection. Unwittingly, in sporadic flashes, we recognize ourselves and cease to notice that the artists is in fact talking about himself, that he is merely playing with us. He remains alone with his game. Is that what he was actually aiming for?

Ivan Pinkava