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  • Publication: Becoming Sisters
  • Publication: Becoming Sisters
  • Publication: Becoming Sisters
  • Publication: Becoming Sisters
  • Publication: Becoming Sisters
© DIANA BLOK & MARLO BROEKMANS

Diana Blok & Marlo Broekmans

Invisible Forces

Jessica Parry
+April 25, 2022
Diana Blok is a photographic and video installation artist born in Hoorn, Netherlands and now residing in Amsterdam.. Blok's work is inspired by several realities she observed while growing up in Latin America to a Catholic mother and a Jewish father. Seeing social inequality in Latin American first hand and witnessing the dynamic between European and Indigenous identities, and between logic and the magic of nature and culture. Blok questioned what she saw utilizing her artistic perception to seek answers. Blok aims to find ways to get the viewer to consider other perceptions of understanding - specifically in areas of identity, gender, and sexual diversity.
Marlo Broekmans is a photographic artist living in Hoorn, Netherlands. At the core of Broekmans' work is the body of both human and flora. Her work focuses on themes of dreams, darkness, death, passion, enchantment and vulnerability. Self-portraiture is a significant part of Broekmans' artistic practice. Broekmans photographs flowers that she collects and keeps in her own personal herbarium. The flora get a second chance at life through Broekmans' creative photographs. These flowers become figurants as she photographs their transformation, decay, and delicate movement. These subjects create all kinds of shapes taking on the form of fairies, dancers, mythical and erotic scenes. Broekmans relates the flowers to her own fascination with the darkness of the living human soul and the enticing beauty of death.
  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
© DIANA BLOK & MARLO BROEKMANS
Invisible Forces is a collaborative photographic project created by both Blok and Broekmans in the late 1970s. After meeting at the Photo Festival in Arles, France they began a unique collaboration in which they worked, lived, and signed every print together. "We were not aware that this was so exceptional. We were made aware of this years later by several photography experts." The work created by Blok and Broekmans portrays themes of life, death, sexuality, mythology, dreams and nightmares through nude self portraiture. They explored these ideas in avante-garde and antagonistic ways. Their raw creative process was symbiotic. Lead by their subconscious, the two women created deep and performative imagery inspired by imagination, struggle, love and ordinary life.
When Blok and Broekmans began this daring work it was towards the end of the second wave feminist movement. The two did not think of themselves as feminists despite women being the subject of their photographs. They experienced female viewers who criticized 'Invisible Forces' while at the same time also experiencing groups of feminists who praised their work. "This contradiction brought strength to the work, which gained more and more impact and interest." After being discovered in an exhibition in Amsterdam by the company Director Manfred Heiting, the project became sponsored by Polaroid Europe. 'Invisible Forces' continued to gain exposure and has been exhibited internationally.
  • Foto Femme united image
  • Foto Femme united image
Blok's work has been exhibited in group and solo shows throughout Europe and the Americas. She has also published her photographic work in several books. Blok's work can be found on her website. Brokemans' work is part of several private collections including Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris, Musée d'Elysee in Switzerland, and the International Polaroid Collection to name a few. Her work has been exhibited internationally. Brokemans' work can be found on her website and on Facebook.