Katherine Longly

Visual artist - Photographer

Art workshops - Cultural mediation & participative projects - Trainings




Architecture pictures of Belgian Royal Library's cafeteria. This place that looks seemingly insignificant is also the place where the informal can spread out in a very functional and hierarchical microcosm.

What looks more insignificant than a cafeteria – and in an administration as well ? Are you so sure ? How can a place where men and women are doing such an important thing as eating, can be meaningless ?

Cafeterias have a lot to tell. They are small islands of humanity in a very functional and hierarchical universe. They are places of loosening up, of sociability for some, of meditation for others. They are spots where personalities have better opportunities to express themselves. Ranks and functions are becoming blurred, freeing the individual. This is the place where we can hear that the very discreet man from next office is a famous orchid specialist, or that the kind lady from the legal department is the producer of a theater company praised by the drama critics.

Those places can sometimes, for an attentive eye, develop an amazing aestheticism. It happens for the Belgian Royal Library, for example. What a beautiful and luminous space, which introduces us to the best of 60's architecture, where the very single details, from chairs to coat racks, were designed by the most popular interior designers of this time. The people enjoying the food are often at the centre of architect's attention.

To highlight those places seemingly trivial, we needed an eye that sublimates the anecdotes. Katherine Longly's approach combines a sensitive look to a strong and perfectly balanced framing, revealing humanity on one hand, beauty and aesthetism on the other hand, precisely where we don't always expect them to be. The choice of the mythical Hasselblad camera, with no technological thrills, tells all the depth of her intention.

Text by Yvan De Baets.