Susan van Hengstum



9 prints (110x72 cm, paper) and 9 installation shots | digital presentation on Project Probe



CADRE addresses the omnipresence of the rectangular shape through which we we observe life, especially in architecture, photography and cinema. Addressing this issue in Probe was particularly interesting as Probe is simultaneously an architectural and a photographic space. In other words, the camera in Probe functions like the window providing a view into the space, thus literally embodying the theme.

In this work I examined the consequences of an alternatively shaped frame. I used the photographic principles whereby exposure and overexposure result in blacks and whites, which can be reversed in the way this used to be part of the photographic procedure. By inserting small random cutout shapes inside my camera, the light was prevented to reach the edges of the rectangular sensor and act accordingly.
As the rectangular raster is particularly apparent in the 'architecture' of the homepage, the addition of the photographs with the alternatively shaped frames instantly create a visual dialogue.
In order to expose the hardship of escaping the rectangular regime, I moved the photographs from the virtual space into the exhibition space by placing the prints (back) into the three dimensional Probe structure. This act instantly throws us back to the reality of Probe which inherently possesses the impossibility of reaching the third dimension. One could say that the intrinsic characteristics of the Probe space, unveil the inevitable features of a photographic image.

I made the work Cadre during a residency period funded by the Mondriaan Fund and Stichting SLAK.


Probe is a virtual exhibition space by art-initiative Suze May Sho. Artists from different disciplines are invited to explore their own practice and challenged rethink their working methods.

Probe has walls no higher than 1,10m and a surface of 6m2. It’s a test lab, an artistic skinner box; Its small and practical dimensions enables artists to create works that are unthinkable in real life. The architecture of the space is flexible and wholly subservient to the exhibition: walls can be extended, doors can be removed, a floor made of glass, mirrors or wood, even the lighting situation can be fully controlled.

Probe’s flexible dimensions proposes questions as to the nature of space, seeing for example, that Probe can be wholly absorbed by the installation it contains. Exterior or interior, architecture or sculpture become relative notions. Probe can also be used as a tool for exhibition making. The height, size and sequence of several works can be researched without ever having to drill a hole. Sketches can be used as dummies, scale warps achieved in seconds.

Even though it is a physical space, Probe is only accessible on the Internet. The registration of the exhibition is the exhibition.

Probe is initiated by Suze May Sho who started the project in 2008.