Jim Campers, Earth Sinking into Water, 2014. Courtesy of the artist

Forward Escape Into the Past

Jim Campers

From 15 September to 13 October 2018, the Brakke Grond presents artist Jim Campers’ (Antwerp, 1990) first solo exhibition in Amsterdam. Countercultures from the 60s and 70s form important themes in his work, alongside isolation from society and returning to nature.

(Read further below)

Forward Escape Into The Past

With Forward Escape Into the Past Campers installs a diptych in The Brakke Grond. After the first presentation at M-Museum Leuven, in a newly created architecture alternative scenarios and new connections are established between the projects Let’s kill the Moonlight and Intranaut.

Campers approaches these photography series as archives from which to shape different exhibitions or projects. Some of the photographs are reminiscent of illustrations from travel journals or scientific publications, other images refer to advertising photography or are rather visual, sometimes abstract, experiments. They form the fragments of an ever-changing narrative.

In my work, among other things, I explore the archaic revival in which mankind has evolved into a more primitive existence, and the ever-forward process of complex change in our technological society has been broken.”

For this exhibition he devised a scenography reusing old exhibition walls, including any wear and tear.  The reusing of walls mirrors the lifestyles of Drop City residents, an autarkic, utopian movement based in Colorado. Living as hunter-gatherers they created their utopian community using locally sourced materials.

As part of the exhibition the publication Forward Escape Into the Past is published by Art Paper Edition (APE), Gent.


► Forward Escape Into the Past was realized in collaboration with M-Museum Leuven and curator Valerie Verhack.


Let's Kill the Moonlight

The photographic series Let’s Kill the Moonlight (FC) derives from the convictions of the American mathematician and terrorist Theodore “The Unabomber” Kaczynski (1942). From the 1970s onwards, he developed a critique of relentless technological advancement and championed a restoration of freedom in harmony with nature. Kaczynski reinforced his message by committing a series of attacks with letter bombs, killing and wounding several people.

The title of Campers’ photographic series combines Kaczynski’s ideas with those of the Italian Futurists. Let’s Kill the Moonlight was one of the elements from the Second Futurist Manifesto, written by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Unlike Kaczynski, Marinetti actively glorified the destructive power of technology.


Campers’ second series of photographs, Intranaut, draws on the theories of the American writer, philosopher and anthropologist Terence McKenna. The latter set out in his Stoned Ape hypothesis to modify the process described by standard evolutionary theory, by ascribing a crucial role to the use of the psychedelic mushroom Psylocybin cubensis by prehistoric humans. According to McKenna, consumption of this fungus and its hallucinogenic powers played an important role in the formation of the brain, more specifically in the creation of what distinguishes people from other creatures: human self-reflection.


Jim Campers (Antwerp, ° 1990) studied at Sint-Lukas in Brussels and the academies of Leipzig and Antwerp. His work was previously shown in group exhibitions at Extra City, Antwerp (2016) and Le Bal Paris (2014). Recently he participated in Plat(t)form at Fotomuseum Winterthur (2018).