In 2021 Shlyk & Van den Berghe developed a modular system in collaboration with Atelier Oh to quickly and intuitively build, adapt with images, break down and reinvent model spaces. This hands-on methodology facilitates their research on the relationship between image and space. They capture their photographic and architectural experiments with scaled exhibition spaces and then edit and use these recordings in the final exhibition. The result is a continuous reinterpretation, which stimulates strong sensory perceptions.

The title Backspace refers to some of these elements. In the exhibition hall at the Fotomuseum in Antwerp, another space in the back is suggested. Does it exist or is it an illusion? Backrooms are often hiding places; they are cluttered rooms in the house and deep recesses on the internet. In addition, the ‘backspace’ key on a keyboard deletes previous characters. Repositioning the cursor means movement. Removing means reimagining all over again.


* Whilst preparing for this exhibition, the artists were unwilling and unable to overlook the disheartening reality of the war in Ukraine. In the backspace, they added an extra element: a confrontational disruption of the show’s imaginative fiction. They hence suggest how incomprehensible and (in)accessible the conflict is, and how the ongoing onslaught lingers in the back of one’s mind.


In collaboration with Ben Van den Berhe. Thanks to Atelier OhEline VerstegenEdi Winarni and Thor Vermin.

Curated by Tamara Berghmans.

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

The Principle, 45x60 cm Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

Model Maker, 100x140cm, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

Plastic Number (revisited), 45x60cm,Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

Private Eden (revisited) 45x60cm, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

San Christobal (revisited) 45x60cm, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

installation view, Backspace, 2022 © Alexey Shlyk and Ben Van den Berghe

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