Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?
In his series Horror Vacui (Fear of the Void), Tim van den Oudenhoven shows isolated nocturnal landscapes in a sea of black. This fear of the void, often described as a coping mechanism, is reflected by the use of intense black, a space that can no longer be filled. Black acts as the colour of negation, a destructive force that covers all or, as in Goethe’s colour theory, the result of destruction. Like a black hole, everything gets sucked into it: How long will it take before the last light is extinguished and we are left with nothing but pitch black?
In contrast to traditional landscape photography, the details, the horizon and virtually every other element that could serve as a point of reference are completely absent in van den Oudenhoven's work. A satisfactory orientation can only be achieved by employing the viewer’s own expectations about the landscape. The small islands that are shown in the images attract the onlooker's attention and create an aesthetic, yet uncanny viewing experience.
Abstract landscapes, provided with exact geocoordinates of where they were taken.
Dimensions: 110x165 cm. Printed on canvas. Edition of 1+1.
During the 1930s, photographers from the Farm Security Administration and the Office of War Information employed photographers to have them document every aspect of American life.
This series reflects on the work performed by these photographers. In essence, this series continues the work of the FSA/OWI , although now, it is an interpretation for the 21st century, and here, stasis is as abundant as ever. The images are darker, the subjects more or less the same.
Salvation, almost a century later, still nowhere to be found.
The reference numbers used in this project use the same method of categorization as the original photographs did. The codes, however, are subjectively decided, as a means to add a coded message to the image, a reflection of the current state of affairs.
2017"And men go to admire the high mountains, the vast floods of the sea, the huge streams of the river, the circumference of the ocean, and the revolutions of the stars – and desert themselves." - Petrarca.
"disparitions" presents a series of anynomous, universal constructions made from concrete. They can be found in an unspecified urban setting where they are surrounded by an abundance of intense blacks. They have been printed on newsprint paper, a light and fragile surface that helps to highlight their practically forgotten presence. As cathedrals of Modernity, they have been planted in an everyday environment that at the same time can come across as distant and uncanny.
Viewers are invited to be engulfed in a world where the loss of any sense of direction is of pivotal importance. The horizon disappears behind the infinite black of night or that of concrete. No human presence can be found here : what remains are the architectural scars of these buildings before we watch them disappear into oblivion.
Printed on newsprint paper
Nature Morte: Still Lifes with Organs, a Jar, and Urine
This series presents a series of organs, graciously decaying in a container filled with urine. The series is a direct interpretation of the still life tradition, in which symbols for death and passing time are abundantly present. Here too, these themes are overtly present, albeit in a blunter way.
The “organs” are not specified in the titles, as they have lost their main function, and no longer serve the purpose they were created for. Their decaying process is even sped up by them being soaked in urine. This may or may not be interpreted as laughing in the face of Death, out of fear or not, but never intended to ignore the transient nature of being.
The combination of these decaying organs becomes abstract and painterly. Their subject is also a reflection on the Vanitas-still lifes so often seen in the still life tradition. Unlike the typical skull, we only see the organs here, breaking down rapidly and falling apart into unrecognisable shapes and pieces. They are dissolved into nothingness, turning them into more ideal examples of the ephemeral nature of life.
Dimensions: 80x80 cm on archival pigment paper
Ex Memoria is a series on memory, or rather, the vanishing of memory. Rather than just working with found footage, this series uses discarded negatives that are subsequently burnt, destroyed, developed and reproduced on a monumental scale, creating a never before seen reproduction of a long lost memory.
The central part of the process is destruction, which is active on several levels.
First of all, there is the physical act of throwing these negatives away: the very reason why these photographs were ever taken, to capture a growing up child, becomes redundant. As adults, we often rely on photographs to tell our story for us. Here, however, the story has become insignificant and the children anonymous. The original memory, the photographic negative, has become meaningless and has thus been erased.
Secondly, there is destruction on the prints’ darkness. They almost vanish in a black sea of oblivion. It is the moment before everything turns to black entirely. Uneasily, one could think of Hugo’s Les Misérables: “When the eye sees black, the heart sees trouble. In an eclipse in the night, in the sooty opacity, there is anxiety even for the stoutest of hearts.” This dissolution into nothingness puts our own raison d’être into perspective or, on a more narrow metaphotographic level, the reason why we take certain pictures.
Thirdly, the series is presented in printed on the very temporary medium of newsprint paper. Newspapers are intended to be almost immediately discarded and recycled, the use of which highlighting the fleeting nature of this process of memory destruction. The medium is fading along with the subjects and memories themselves.
Dimensions 10x15 cm, and 100x150
Троєщина - Troieshchyna
without a flicker's thought
we erase the world around us
every neighbour whose face we can't describe
the soft push towards the abyss of oblivion
"No, I do not know anybody that lived on the fourth floor..."
The double lock clicks twice.
The body of the crime
Series of large scale portraits, vanishing identities.