Max Pinckers (b.1988, BE) is an artist based in Brussels, Belgium. His work explores the critical, technological, and ideological structures that surround the production and consumption of documentary images.
Documentary photography, for Pinckers, involves more than the representation of an external reality: it’s a speculative process that approaches reality and truth as plural, malleable notions open to articulation in different ways. Like the external world that it claims to represent, the documentary image is inherently unstable, dependent on context and on customary languages of realism. Pinckers’ work draws on contemporary and historical debates, merging fact, fiction and imagination to reflect on the ways that the real is defined and represented. It treats documentary as a hybrid practice involving not just images, but objects, performance, texts, found footage and sculptural interventions that investigate the complex nature of perception.
Collaboration is essential to Pinckers’ practice, creating a space for the exchange of ideas between himself and the people he works with, and for critical examination of his own position as a photographer. Coincidence and intuition have also come to play an increasingly important role in the work. Incorporating elements whose significance is not immediately obvious is a way of extending the documentary gesture, incorporating viral affinities and shared meanings that stand outside accepted definitions of reality.
Ultimately, Pinckers’ self-reflexive work sets out to question both documentary discourse and artistic practice—to create new modes of documentary that foreground the deceptive nature of images and remind audiences of the way that half-truths and biases shape our encounters with information—yet always human.