Overview participating photographers
In Lowlands Martin Bogren sketches his relation with the Swedish town where he grew up. He never really felt at home there, and always dreamed of 'something bigger'. Bogren visualizes the mind-set and the people of the town in the past, as he remembers them. He still today feels out of place when he return to his old town. That is to be seen in his images, in which the sense of estrangement is palpable for the viewer. Whether the series is a return to his youth, or a farewell to it, remains unclear.
Martin Bogren (Sweden, 1967) began his career by photographing bands and performers among his circle of friends. His first book, The Cardigans – Been It (1996) was the outcome of several tours with the Swedish band The Cardigans. Lowlands appeared in book form in 2011. Bogren's work has appeared in the British Journal of Photography, L'IMAGE and Eyemazing, among other magazines.
Gatherings of the Rainbow Family regularly take place all around the world. The participants seek to live in harmony with nature. They reject every form of violence, as well as the consumer society and the economy that goes with it. Cities are no longer a part of their world; the 'Rainbows' only meet in beautiful natural areas. The French photographer Eric Bouvet travelled to Rainbow meetings in Brazil, the United States, Slovakia, Guatemala and India.
Eric Bouvet (France, 1961) has worked as a photographer since 1981, first for the Gamma photo agency, and since 1990 as a freelancer. He has photographed in many conflictvzones around the world, including Iraq, Chechenia and the former Yugoslavia. Among the journals in which his work has appeared are Newsweek, Paris Match and Der Spiegel. Bouvet has won five World Press Awards.
Jantien de Bruin
In the autumn of 2005 Jantien de Bruin stayed in a converted dairy plant in the parish of Kolderveen, on the boundary of Drenthe and Overijssel. In melancholy black and white, in the classic square medium size format, she photographed the residents of the 80 farms which comprise the hamlet, and their way of life. De Bruin does not show us an idyllic community where everyone knows each other and the human realm and nature still coincide, but a village which has not escaped the encroachments of modernity. She records what is about to, or has already, disappeared.
Jantien de Bruin (Netherlands, 1971) studied at the Photography Academy in Haarlem. Her work has been shown in the Netherlands many times, including at the Naarden PhotoFestival. Her series Dikken Kat en Kolderveen appeared as a book in 2006. De Bruin has also published the books En, wanneer komt de tweede? (2005) and Onder het zichtbare schrift (2004).
Wouter van Buuren
The serie Total Landscapes arose from the question of whether a landscape can be perceived in its totality. Wouter van Buuren's images are comprised of more than a 100 photos taken from high-tension pylons. The individual photos are unaltered, and can be distinguished in the larger image. This allows the whole landscape to be perceived as the sum total of a large number of smaller landscapes.
"I started to make the total landscapes in the Netherlands when I was climbing electricity pylons. I was stunned by the beauty of the landscape I thought I knew so well. From above the mundane seemed more divine."
Wouter van Buuren (Netherlands, 1972) took courses at the Vrije Academie Werkplaats voor Beeldende Kunsten and the Amsterdams Centrum voor Fotografie. His work has been seen in exhibitions in the Netherlands, Germany and the United States. Wouter van Buuren lives and works in Amsterdam.
For his project 1m³, Christian Diehl repeatedly always cuts out one cubic metre of a specific kind of soil, then analyses and isolates the different components of the sample – plants, animals, stones. In the clinical surroundings of the studio he photographs these elements in an objective manner. In addition to cubic metres of intertidal mudflat and woodland ground, Diehl also recorded the agricultural soil of the German town of Schöppingen, lying in the western part of Münsterland, in this manner. Better than 90% of the area of this community consists of arable fields.
Christian Diehl (West Germany, 1970) has worked as a photographer since 1989, and studied photography at the Hogeschool at Dortmund from 1995 to 2002. His work has been in exhibitions throughout Germany. Diehl is an instructor in photography at the Hogeschool at Münster.
A day trip to the beach is probably one of the most photographed events in human life. In his dark black and white photos Jose Diniz transcends the clichés that accompany it. The photos were taken from in the water, in order to thus convey different physical and mental experiences to the viewer – lack of balance, giddiness, harmony, continuous movement and the salty taste. Because of the low camera angle, the waves grow into moving mountains, which symbolize the various relationships between man and the sea.
José Diniz (Brazil, 1954) studied photography at Cândido Mendes University in Rio de Janeiro, where he still lives and works. In addition to photography he also studied marketing, internet technology and knowledge management. In 2008 he published the book Literariamente, and in 2012 won the Marc Ferrez Photography Prize from the Brazilian Ministry of Cultuur.
Alena Dvorakova & Viktor Fischer
The region around Monte Amiata, an extinct volcano in southern Tuscany, is rich in natural thermal springs. Around the volcano there are many spas where for centuries now tourists have enjoyed the salubrious effects of the sulphur springs. But the presence of water is too much taken for granted, Dvorakova & Fischer say. Although three-quarters of the earth's surface is covered by water, only six percent of the earth's water supply consists of fresh water. The world's population now is already using 54% of all water supplies, and over 25 years that will have risen to 90%. A future shortage of drinking water is a serious possibility. The series Hot Springs in Tuscany is a part of the project Water, in which Dvorakova & Fischer draw attention to this problem.
Alena Dvorakova (Czechoslovakia, 1970) and Viktor Fischer (Czechoslovakia, 1967) both graduated from the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. Since 1992 they have worked together on photography projects in which the emphasis lies on humanitarian photography. Their work has previously been seen in the Noorderlicht Festivals Act of Faith (2007) and Behind Walls (2008).
In her photography Ann Eringstam places an idealized, non-realistic image of reality over against our own ideas about norms, reality and identity. The images from the series In Search of Wonderland were shot in an overwhelmingly beautiful landscape. They are reminiscent of the Romantic, nationalistic images of yesteryear. But just as in Alice in Wonderland, the viewer is drawn into a terrifying real unreality. Concepts like true and false don't apply here. The half-hidden, fairy-tale-like, almost unearthly female figures appear to be searching for something – something that seems unattainable.
Ann Eringstam (Sweden, 1977) graduated from the School of Photography at Göteborg University, in the city where she still lives and works. In 2009 she received a grant from the Hasselblad Foundation. Her work has been seen in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Northwest Europe.
There are plants growing all around us – in gardens, alleys, on dikes and on wasteland – which are edible, in part or as a whole. That knowledge is crucial in striving to attain a more sustainable lifestyle, but most people are entirely unaware of it. Therefore Jimmy Fike digs up plants all across North America and photographs them in his studio. In digital manipulation, he colours in the edible parts, and depicts the remainder of the plant as a photogram, the process by which an object is reproduced on photo-sensitive material without the intervention of a camera. With his photos Fike hopes to both inform people, and convey the insight that it is really not so difficult to get more in touch with nature.
Jimmy Fike (United States, 1970) studied art and photography at the University of Alabama and Auburn University, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, all in the United States. His work has appeared in numerous exhibitions in North America.
Along with his brother, as a child Taj Forer attended the Waldorf School, which is based on the anthroposophic teachings of Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). Later in life he discovered that Steiner's ideals stand in shrill contrast to the consumerism and spiritual emptiness of the average American. With Threefold Sun Forer shows how a small American subculture is putting Steiner's theories about agriculture, education and architecture into practice. In this way these people are trying to live in greater harmony with the natural world.
Taj Forer (United States, 1981) studied photography at the University of North Carolina, where he now works as an instructor. He is the co-founder of Daylight, a prominent publisher of photographic books. His series Threefold Sun appeared as a book in 2007. In addition, in 2011 he published the photo book Stone by Stone. Forer's work is to be seen in museums and galleries all over the world and is included in private and public collections.
"In my photography I try to tell little tragicomic stories in which opposite feelings and beings intertwine – from naive game to absolute absurd."
"I built fictive restoration sites. Scaffoldings are covering objects of nature instead of houses and man-made objects. Trees, boulders, rock faces and fields are under repair."
"A journey through the villages of Upper Swabia. The photos not only document the charm which emanates from the rural areas, but also evoke the extent to which vacancies already exist, and their consequences. Factors such as shifts in demographics and the economic appeal of urban centers could strengthen this trend in the future. To move to a large city, away from the countryside, seems to many people to be just a logical step. Yet, in doing so, the people do not leave just their community; often they also leave a piece of their home and identity behind."
Kahn & Selesnick
Truppe Fledermaus is indebted to the literary tendency of the carnivalesque in which sociopolitical discourse through satire and humor is permissible. The mode is based on the medieval carnival in which those deprived of power enact the role of those with power to challenge authority and the status quo. The troupe is “preaching to the choir” by performing only for the animals, because those ultimately in power (scientists and government officials) are not listening.
In the vast barren landscapes of the southern Kalahari, Sociable Weaver Birds assume ownership of the telephone poles that cut across their habitat.Their burgeoning nests are at once inertly statuesque and teeming with life. The twigs and grass collected to build these nests combine to give strangely recognisable personalities to the otherwise inanimate poles.
Social and economic changes in farming with the means of documentary and staged photography. It is about so called “farm dying” – as the land does not generate enough income far- ming is being given up. Over the years it has been carried out as a case study at a house with a history longer than 500 years in rural Upper-Austria, where farming was stopped at 2001. A later sub-series portrays a number of regional ex-farmers. The vast photographic work is accompanied by 2 experimental dance videos.
"As a young boy of six you go hiking with your parents, you marvel at the world among beech trees, pick the flowers by the horses and go in your tiny boots giggling from village to village. In twenty years you walk alone under the beech trees, but you don’t marvel any more. You listen to the old, now it is them who tell the stories. They smile, but they don’t laugh. Their stories are stories from your childhood, memories of their times. You don’t understand how the countryside that was flourishing for centuries can disappear in a couple of decades."
Scottish landscape where hydroelectricity has been providing power from the Glens for over 60 years. Working in large format and researching appropriate sites Smith captures the kinetic energy of these sites, many of which continue to operate in the manner for which they were constructed.
Construction of the world’s largest solar thermal power plant, in the Mojave Desert. When completed in late 2013, 344.000 mirrors will create 392 megawatts of energy. Such projects raise challenging questions about land and resource use, while exposing contradictions and differing perspectives within the larger environmental movement.
My Normandy or my godmother’s Normandy I should say. Somebody I was so close to after my mother’s death. She often welcomed me in this region where she often found refuge escaping from Paris. I found some comfort there. We often talked about her sister and all the beloved we missed. Now she is gone and I like to wander thinking of all the missing people, the good time we spent together.
In a time when most people migrate to the cities me and my family are moving to the countryside. We have decided to leave the metropolis and everything we used to love about it and start a different life in a small village on the Chilean countryside. The move is about taking a stance against the lack of authenticity that comes with a consumer culture. It is about taking advantage of the space on the countryside, about letting our children grow up in a world with less conditions and more freedom. All of this without becoming disconnected.
The plots of land where peat was once dried, where labourers stood to their knees in the peat bogs labouring heavily, are now rented or sold to holiday-makers. Some of these plots are not used, and these small islands have turned into mini natural areas, small wildernesses that are slowly being swallowed by water.