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God Inc II (+ I) 🇳🇱

October 15, 202312:30Ambassador Room

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In the summer of 1990 Carl De Keyzer, accompanied by his wife and three-year-old son, takes the plane to Los Angeles, California. There he buys a camping car – which will be his home for a year – and immediately heads for the northern states, before winter sets in. He has only one subject on his agenda: religious groups. The United States are a breeding ground for about 3700 different religious groups. Religion is an essential part of the American wary of life, if only because of the particular attention given to it by movie stars, pop artists, politicians, and the media. Churches are not subsidized in the US, but they are exempted from taxes. Otherwise, they have to be fully self-supporting. Most churches are doing well, very well. It appears that God as product is the gap in the American market of the ’90s; hence, God Incorporated. Traveling month after month from one state to another, Carl De Keyzer has photographed Americans in their religious experience. His approach is both aesthetical and critical, his attitude is one of surprise and astonishment. “I was shocked to find that religion plays such an important part in American society, that it was so widely spread. One year long I wondered why Americans are so intense and emotional in their religious experience.” In this edition God, Inc I has 27 unpublished images from that trip.

Thirty years later: God, Inc II. In 2019 and 2020 Carl De Keyzer decides to revisit certain places from the first edition and adds many new locations, trends and events. This time the internet is the source of information. For God, Inc I hundreds of letters sent and tons of Bibles, brochures, VHS cassettes sent back formed the basis of the research and travel plan. The old 1972 Winnebago camper is replaced by a rental car and Airbnb. In 2019 the big evangelists like Billy Graham are gone, most religious theme parks are closed and overall church attendance has declined. Still ‘new’ churches like Scientology and many non- denominational groups are doing better each year, attracting many young millennials. The US is still God’s country. During the last trip Covid-19 happened. From one day to another all scheduled events and places were cancelled and closed. New initiatives like open air confessions and drive-in churches started to appear, some churches placed their fate in the hands of God and decided to stay open. The images of these creative initiatives included in God, Inc II provide the sequel with an interesting topical element.

Traveling month after month from one state to another, Carl De Keyzer has photographed Americans in their religious experience.



Carl De Keyzer


Event Info

  • October 15, 2023
  • 12:30 - 13:15
  • Ambassador Room

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