il faut que je sois

To what extent can objects carry, or function as, memories? The series ‘il faut que je sois,’ (2010–2011) follows the hours of the clock with one photograph per hour, and shows an undefined protagonist in various symbolic poses and settings. The bowler hat and pocket watch belonged to Verhallen’s great-grandfather: “Just as he once had a life he had to live (il faut que je sois”) I now must live my life and somehow shape it, give meaning to it.” In the final photograph, the unknown character leaves the stage, while leaving behind the bowler hat and pocket watch for someone new to pick up. Is this Verhallen’s great-grandfather descending the staircase, or he himself? Perhaps time is ultimately a spiral: it moves in circles (everyone has their life they must live), but the various periods never touch nor overlap (we will never meet our ancestors).

Hand-made gelatin silver print on resin-coated paper.
LIMITED EDITION OF 20 (40 x 40 cm)

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Selected Works

SPECTATE!Project type

Pro temporeProject type


KPF, Londonexhibition

King's Collegeexhibition

Schatjes, A'damexhibition

DC Londonexhibition

without a soundProject type

Earlier workProject type

trivial; essentialProject type

I, the PhotographProject type

il faut que je soisProject type

Pro temporeProject type

Non-Human AgencyProject type

Pro temporeProject type

memoriesProject type