David Legrève has first photo book printed at Buroform

Mechelen-based press photographer David Legrève recently released his first book. ‘Soon Opening’ is his personal account of the past corona year. A unique time document that beautifully captures the entire situation. And we were allowed to print this photo book.

MECHELEN Photographer David Legrève presents his first book of photographs Weldra Opening with an exhibition at The Preachers
David Legrève presents his first book of photographs Weldra Opening.

“A week after the first lockdown, I started working on this project,” David Legrève says. “On March 13, the crisis broke out, which obviously affected my daily work. Initially, I was afraid to come in contact with others. I didn’t want to be infected, let alone infect people myself. I quickly took my shots and hurried home. Until I began to realize that the whole situation was very fascinating on a visual level. Typical assignments like photographing a wedding anniversary or a new store suddenly took on a different dimension. Those visible changes I wanted to document. After first closing my eyes out of fear, I suddenly discovered another world.”

Sleeping dog key moment

If you visit the Predikheren in Mechelen today, you can admire a selection of the sculptures. Fourteen photographs will be on display at the city library until Feb. 21, as a preview of the 100-page book. From old folks celebrating an anniversary behind glass to an online birthday party and the decontamination of St. Rombouts Cathedral. + Perhaps one of the most remarkable photos is of a sleeping dog in an abandoned store window.

“This is the key image of the series,” he said. “That peacefully sleeping dog evokes a certain peace, quiet and beauty. At the same time, a certain menace emanates from it: is the animal still alive or not? That negative undertone is typical of the unreality of the crisis. Yet it is this image that freed me from my fear. I was suddenly ready to take more time for my photographs.”

The photographs are an emotive representation of life as it currently is: full of despair, uncertainty, absurdity.

Buroform may print photo book

And then we got to print David’s photo book! In collaboration with photographer and graphic designer Tina De Souter, who oversaw the entire process from composition to printing. “I am very satisfied with the result and actually with the cooperation in general,” Legrève smiled. “I think the speed and focus with which our questions were answered is a big plus. The book really exudes what I want to say. The cover consists of a rough natural cardboard into which the opening image is punched. In addition, we chose an open spine. You can see the glue and binding, which goes very nicely with the cover image: an unfinished showcase in which the words “soon opening” are written. The combination of that raw and drab image and the artlessness of the book immediately capture the mood I wanted to convey.”

The combination of the raw and drab image and the unaffected look-and-feel of the book immediately captured the mood I wanted to convey.