analog photography Belgium contemporary art digital photo art Elisa Baudino fine art Magi Jansen Polaroid photography



// Magi is a graduate of the Academy of fine art Ghent and is based in Antwerp, Belgium. She fell in love with photography and the art it stands for as a teenager, using a borrowed analog camera. We present some images from her Polaroid series “Living in a box in a unified world”. It is a sort of “lock-down” project, but not really.

In the beginning of her photographic career Magi worked as a freelancer documenting celebrities in Belgium and abroad. After a while she started experimenting with bringing different pictures together into one picture and different forms of impressionism.

“You are allowed to grow in all directions, during all seasonS.”

(something Magi spotted on a truck)

What draws you to the arts?

“Art is everywhere, no matter where you are, it is always there. Art is universal for me, a good book, movie, ballet, modern dance, music or opera is art. It is also very personal depending on your mood at that specific moment.”

What do you like best about your polaroid “box” project?

“I love making these pictures in Polaroid, because every single picture is a unique one, as opposed to the skyscrapers .”

Instant cameras use self-developing film to create a chemically developed print shortly after taking the picture. This process was pioneered by the Polaroid Corporation, which brought out the instant cameras and film as early as 1948. It became really big in the 1970s with the release of the SX-70 camera that used color film. Later, other camera makers emulated the technique and came out with their own instant camera models, but instant photography remains firmly associated with the Polaroid name and format. Polaroids have seen a massive resurgence in popularity in recent years, as analog photography and “old-fashioned” ways of taking pictures have captured the imagination of contemporary artists again.

Magi shot her project on Polaroid film. “Living in a box is not your average lockdown story,” Magi says. “As I was strolling around Antwerp’s newest districts, it struck me, our so called unified world never seizes to amaze. Tall skyscrapers, stories filled with thousands of people. Identical cloned windows, box on top of a box, on top of again another box. Buildings ranging from cheap to expensive.Small flats and utterly prestigious penthouses. All with that amazing view on our famous river, De Schelde. However, the outside never changes its faces. That box will always remain a box.”

After taking the Polaroids, Magi preserves them in concrete boxes that she made especially for this series, to echo its title.

There is something so 1970s about these pictures, isn´t there? The charm of expired film tops it off.

Click on the photos to see a larger image.


To see more of her photography visit Magi´s website and her Instagram page. Her website has some very interesting other series, some of them in the area of abstract photography.

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