© Joris Casaer
Olympe Tits (Marseille, 1992) is an autodidact photographer, dancer and choreographer residing in Brussels, Belgium.
Olympe started her education to become a professional dancer at the Royal Balletschool of Antwerp at the age of 8 and graduated there at the age of 18. After those studies she developed as a contemporary dancer at the Royal conservatory for contemporary dance in Antwerp and got her teachers degree after that. She danced in different dance projects and made her own choreographies that have been presented on different theaterfestivals. As she has always been very interested in making art with different media such as dance, music, writing and video she decided to self taught herself photography at the age of 19. Her conceptual work has been exhibited in different galleries in Belgium and abroad. In 2016 she won the National Belgium award at the Sony awards in London. In 2017 she ended 2nd on the TV show Master of Photography that has been broadcast on Sky Arts in different countries. Her work has been published in different magazine and newspapers such as Focus Vif, Shoot, City Zine, De Morgen, De Standaard, New Gup and on different online magazines over the world. Beside her conceptual work she makes photographs for theatre and dance compagnies. She's regularly asked to provide the image of a campaign and portraits of actors.
Olympe Tits's photography, opposites complement each other. Contrasting
colors draw figures by marking out areas in space. The soft texture of a skirt winds down on a stone floor. Divergent elements enter into a dialogue caused by contrast. Like opposites, they play a continual game of attraction and repulsion.
We see frail bodies, as well as graceful and slender figures. They often appear in uncomfortable positions, while simultaneously acquiring a new form. These characters invite you to watch them. In return, they don't look back.
Form and content coincide in Olympe Tits's work, which is an organic result from her own life experiences. Since childhood, she had always been attracted to her mother's analogue camera. She portrayed herself amidst flowerpots and other found items with a digital camera she got her hands on. This resulted in her first childlike self-portraits.
Later on, Olympe took dance courses, moving on to Belgium's most renown schools to delve headfirst into the art of dance. Subsequently, she graduated as a dancer at the conservatory of Antwerp, where she could expand on her knack for choreography as well. It was an injury that invited the photographer in Olympe Tits to twist again. Initially, she documented the dance courses she had to miss, after which she started shooting the dancers outside of the studio environment as well.
You can sense a state of before and after in each photo. The movement from back then to later on is silenced in the now. Even though each character is overwhelmingly present, it longs to escape this now. At times, it literally accepts the situation. Often, it becomes entwined in the decor.
At this point, humour finds its way into the pictures as well. The absurd humour of out-of-control nonsense becomes an image, documented in the never-ending now. The world in which these characters reside is filled with bright colors. This brightness is often reinforced by textures, making each color almost tangible. This way, the vibrant tones become an important part of this universe. Everyday spaces are saved from their banality. Materials transform into sensitive lines, meeting the body, like in a pas-de-deux with their opposites. The character is there, in that one place. Deafeningly, it silences us.