°1991, Mortsel (BE)

Photographer and teacher in and around Antwerp (BE).
RISO-operator at SO-RI.

Also available for hire as an architectural photographer.

︎︎︎ 0032 475 46 57 95
︎︎︎ marnicqroebben@gmail.com

Empathy and Marxism

Critiques on magnification and iconification in mass politics.

2011 - 2012

Laserjet prints, glued together in booklets. Ripped from the booklet and hung on the wall in seperate A4 sized sheets of paper.

3 books on coloured cardboard, framed behind glass.

1 inkjet print, framed behind glass.

Exhibited at:

2012.09.13 - 2012.10.21 Bredaphoto Festival 2012: Homo Empathicus, Breda's Museum (Breda, NL).

2012.03.22 - 2012.03.25 Fernard Baudin Student Publications, Komplot (Brussels, BE).


Written by Guido van Eijck for BredaPhoto Festival 2012.

In his installation Empathy and Marxism. Critiques on magnification and iconification in mass politics, Roebben provides a critical analysis of the mechanisms of power. He describes how people in politics can evolve into icons, simply by giving them enough media exposure (through pictures, but also on television and radio). It is a very topical subject, now that more and more politicians are being criticized for merely focusing on their presentation in the media. What occurs, however, once a person becomes an 'icon'? Will that person then indeed stand for a greater political ideal, or will the stream of pictures in fact result in a deflation of the person's significance? When form becomes more important than content, all that is left is an empty shell.

Roebben does not hide his preferences. He has more faith in political systems, such as Marxism, where the collective is held above the individual and the people's happiness is considered a common good - in contrast to Western society, where the interest of the individual prevails. Roebben takes a political stand, but is also critical. Most of the countries and states that called themselves communistic or socialistic ended in brutal dictatorships that cost the lives of million of people. According to Roebben, 'processes of iconification' have made people lose track of not only the true nature of their leader, but also the totalitarian system as a whole.
installation view, during the selection process for BredaPhoto festival 2012.
installation view:

2012.09.13 - 2012.10.21 Bredaphoto Festival 2012: Homo Empathicus, Breda's Museum (Breda, NL).

© Marnicq Roebben
Berchem, Antwerp, Belgium