Dirk Wachtelaer: Vanishing Pictures

“Sigmar Polke Photoworks: When Pictures Vanish” – this exhibition and the accompanying book published in 1996 was the main inspiration for Dirk Wachtelaer to start Vanishing Pictures. Wachtelaer, like Polke wanted to start a process of continuous experimentation. Polke’s photo’s have been subjected to all kinds of experiments during the printing process–folding, irradiation, washing with bleach, slicing, layering, painting – resulting in photos that vanish but also evolving in new images that emerge. Wachtelaer wanted to create a mixture of arrangement and improvisation, professionalism and amateurism, musicianship and pure sound-approach.
So in 1999 the process started : the first CD was recorded and the first concerts booked.
For the recordings musicians were invited and recorded separately, layer by layer – resulting in an organic mix with a ‘completely improvised’ vibe, although the musicians never actually played together. The musicians came from very different backgrounds (Paul Lytton : improvisation, DJ Grazzhoppa : hiphop, …),used acoustic or electronic instruments -sometimes a mix of both, had different nationalities (Gerrit Valckenaers : BE, Michael Weilacher : USA, …) and often had a different approach to music. But they all had one thing in common : the urge to create and the openness to experiment.
For every concert a different line-up was created, using musicians that were on the recording but also inviting new musicians. This way a continuously expanding pool of musicians developed.
Over the years this basic concept kept on evolving and growing, resulting in many concerts with line ups varying from duo’s to larger ensembles and three more CD’s.