Photography by Wim Van Isacker


A press release from the governor of West Flanders: “Between 2018 and 2020, 191 people died in traffic in West Flanders. In 2020, police recorded the lowest number of traffic deaths in our province since 2011. The involvement of the cyclist (46%) has never scored so high”.

From the website of the Department of Mobility and Public Works “Dangerous points are locations that are objectively unsafe and where several (serious) traffic accidents have happened in recent years”. 

So a place can apparently be “objectively” unsafe…

The locations of the 78 fatal traffic accidents in 2018 in West Flanders have been photographed. The photos are displayed on porcelain. Like the photos of the deceased on gravestones, only the place, not the person, is central. The places usually no longer bear any trace of what happened, nothing indicates that these are objectively unsafe places. The statues want to be a memorial to the people who died. By focusing on the location of the accident, it becomes clear that accidents can happen anywhere, that there may be “objectively” unsafe places, but that accidents often happen in random places.

The title “Schmerzfarbenbilder” refers to an old technique in which photos are fired onto porcelain. During the search for these techniques, the book “Photograpische Schmelzfarbenbilder” from 1882, which can be found in the library of the FOMU, came to light.

The 78 memorial plates are made of Limoges porcelain, 5 mm thick, 16 cm x 11 cm in size and glazed with a transparent glaze, where the transfer of the photo is baked in.

77-C-348 Blankenberge, Brugse Steenweg
73-B-336 Middelkerke, E40
72-D-335 Oostkamp, Albrecht Rodenbachstraat
67-C-326 Tielt, Meulebeeksesteenweg
66-D-320 Meulebeke, Tieltstraat
61-D-295 Diksmuide, Oostendestraat
58-A-285 Ingelmunster, Ringlaan

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