MEUTE.S – This series questions what drives us to form groups, establish families, create packs, and examines our deep-seated nature. Do humanity and animality ultimately have different essences? Could this impulse to gather not be an expression of a buried, repressed animality? Through an autobiographical narrative close to the initiatory tale, it tells the story of the search for our wild side, an attempt to reconnect with our secret nature. Through this exploration, it aims to uncover the importance of a voluntary rewilding in the process of reclaiming a certain vitality after a traumatic experience. Forming a pack, rediscovering the wild within our margins, in that tiny part where dreams and violence are born. Running through the woods, child at one’s side, tasting warm blood on the tongue, protecting the pack, the family. No matter the cost, forming a group in the face of danger, and finally, as night falls, nestling against each other, satiated and without fear. Rediscovering that animal part, purely sensitive, and finally tasting unconditional, pure, and full love. As it overwhelms us. Striking the earth with fists. Dancing on embers, twisting naked steel, feeling muscles tense, bulge. Feeling the fire. Howling at the moon, playing the wolf, and truly believing in it. Telling a story that’s 10,000 years old. Again and again. Telling one’s story. Forming a pack. Excavating this ancient and mythical being, this creature, part-human, part-beast, that has established its lair in the depths of our being, inhabiting and haunting us. Digging, unearthing our dark roots. Waiting for that distant echo. A rumor faithful to the downpour. Like a secret whispered in the ear. Like an offering placed in our interstices. Forming a pack. And, finally, touching the essence of things. Bending in the slightest breeze like the highest branch of the tallest tree. Trembling with tenderness, perched in the treetops. Closer to the sky than the earth. Finally. Vibrating at the slightest murmur of the world.
Thomas Coucq is a Brussels-based photographer, printer, and musician. He discovered photography at the age of 18 during preparatory studies in sound. Initially practicing it as an amateur, he avidly experimented with silver printing. He later turned to journalism, which allowed him to sharpen his eye and pen in a professional setting. Simultaneously, he pursued a course in analog photography at the École des arts d’Ixelles. Returning to a purely visual approach in recent years, he dedicates himself entirely to analog photography, personally developing his images in a darkroom. His focus lies particularly in the realm of dreams, exploring the delicate boundary between tangible and sensory realities. He strives to capture the fragile fragments of the dream world that permeate our everyday lives. The resulting images narrate these stories through strong contrasts and captivating blacks, alternately brutal or delicate, reflecting a deliberate artistic choice. They are devoid of digital artifice, representing a return to simplicity that aims to reposition the pursuit of a certain vibrant truth at the core of our lives. — “I chose to only photograph on film and to print my images in the darkroom under the enlarger. No pixels, no screen. Sculpting light, inscribing it in silver grains on the negative, and then on paper in the tranquility of the darkroom allows me to infuse a slower tempo into my work, sometimes bordering on introspection. I can then dive into my images, let them inhabit me, grow within me until they emerge in their final form. This choice of ‘all-analog’ is also a way to place the body and instinct at the center of the creative act. Some gestures are performed like rituals, while others arise from an intuition rooted deep within us. Being attentive to these magical incursions during creation, following one’s intuition, letting oneself be overwhelmed by emotions, and intervening only on physical supports throughout the gestation of the images allows me to maintain a certain form of naivety, primitiveness, serving an unadorned narrative that does not succumb to trends and is imbued – I hope – with a certain sober virtuosity.”