A Many Splintered Thing

Bieke Depoorter - Irina Popova - Jana Romanova - Nadia Sablin
Curated by Gregory McCartney & Susanne Stich

18 July - 12 September

Void is delighted to present its first group photographic exhibition, ‘A Many-Splintered Thing’. The show is curated by Greg McCartney and Susanne Stich, and features selected works by Bieke Depoorter, Irina Popova, Jana Romanova and Nadia Sablin.


Employing a documentary aesthetic and revealing aspects of their subjects’ everyday lives, the photographs on show scrutinise notions of home, family and love from four distinct perspectives. The viewer is confronted with a collection of intimate moments, many of which are at odds with common perceptions of ‘what love looks like’. Common denominators in all of these works are their ordinariness and emphasis on human vulnerability.


Three of the photographers (Popova, Romanova and Sablin) were born in Russia toward the end of the Soviet regime. Romanova still lives in the country, in St. Petersburg, Popova is now based in Holland, while Sablin resides in Brooklyn, New York. Depoorter, the fourth photographer, is Belgian, but travelled extensively along the Trans-Siberian railway line. As a result, the show provides a fascinating glimpse of contemporary Russia from within and without.


The show title is a pun based on the phrase 'love is a many splendored thing' and stolen from a Sisters of Mercy song 'Ribbons'. The original source is a 1950s Hollywood film/song: Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing. ‘A Many-Splintered Thing’, on the other hand, ties in with a distrust of first appearances and overwhelming narratives of any sort which contemporary visual culture is frequently awash with. The exhibition puts forward images of love in the face of poverty or deprivation, political instability, or simply the fact of being part of a family and trying to, or having to, fit in. Many of the photographs suggest love in all its complexity, encompassing its origins, mutations and overarching force. They feature traces of romantic love, love of family, others, and love of self, implying how ultimately, ‘love involves a peculiar unfathomable combination of understanding and misunderstanding.’ (Diane Arbus).


"Beautiful, thought-provoking pictures, great gallery space"


Click here to download
the Press Release