All The Things You Are
All The Things You
During my graduation in Photography at the Utrecht School of The Arts (2011) I was asked to make an exhibition for the Academiegalerie. The Academiegalerie is an exhibition space from the Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, located in the centre of the city. Since April 1996 the work of students can be seen here in various presentations. In addition to that, there are frequent collaborations with former students and other professional artists and designers.
Participating artists: Milou Abel, Sara Blokland, Maria Dabrowski and Jaap Scheeren.
All The Things You Are
A photography exhibition:
Since the early days of photography the portrait is one of the most widely practiced genres. Initially, this involved static views of the portrayed, due to the long exposure times that were required. But through the development and innovation of photographic techniques there was more space for visual freedom and usability. The photographer increasingly gained control over the pose and expression of the portrayed. The attempted truthful representation of reality slowly made way for imagining a personal vision of that reality. This development is continuing even now.
The exhibition All The Things You Are brings together the work of photographers Milou Abel, Sara Blokland, Maria Dabrowski and Jaap Scheeren. On the basis of a series of portraits they each in their own way draw a person and her identity. Through the visualization of many expressions, poses and characteristic details the photographers give an idea of the complexity of one’s personality. Piece by piece the person who is presented to us will slowly unfold, giving us a glimpse on the stratification of human existence.
Jaap Scheeren brings with his project Oma Toos a touching tribute to his grandmother. His starting points were the little notes that his grandmother sent to her son over the years, Jaap’s father. In this funny, endearing notes she tells stories about the things that happen to her in her daily life: about her first encounter with a Muslim, her brother who comes to live with her again, a robbery she was witnessing. For the photo series Jaap asked his grandmother to re-enact these events for his camera, thus creating a new reality.
For Ik Ben Jou (I Am You) Milou Abel portrays Esther, a woman she met two years ago. Esther lives in a paradise of which she herself is the center. She lives with one foot in reality and the other in her imagination. In this world, as big as her home, she has her own rules and her own faith. Esther loves clothes and her wardrobe is her life’s work. Milou runs long conversations with Esther and takes photographs extensively. Gradually, these shoots become a recurring ritual of (re)dressing and posing. After some time Esther shows Milou all other pictures of her ever made. Milou appears to be the latest in a long line of photographers for whose camera Esther ever posed.
In Linda (2006) Sara Blokland makes use of the huge collection of photographic images that were made of her sister Linda. In the late nineties Linda was known as a singer of a rock band. Sara Blokland reconstructs the public life of her sister by the hand of especially publicity photos, and combines this with portraits she made herself over the past fifteen years. This project explores the boundary between myth and public image and personal reality on the other hand.
Maria Dabrowski is represented by a large series of self-portraits that were made over a period of three years, from nineteen to twenty-one years of age. Despite the obvious similarities the portraits look simultaneously surprisingly different. Apart from changing clothes and hairstyles, we are witnessing a large variety of facial expressions and moods. Sometimes the photographer looks young, sometimes older, sometimes she gives the impression to be sad or insecure, in other pictures she is strong and beautiful. Each picture shows a fragment of the personality of the sitter. Together they form a rich and nuanced picture of Maria.
All The Things You Are is composed by Laura van Rijs. She herself graduated before the summer as a photographer at the Utrecht School of the Arts. For the exhibition she chose work by two renowned photographers, Sara Blokland and Jaap Scheeren, and two young upcoming talents: Maria Dabrowski took her degree in 2010 and Milou Abel studied together with Van Rijs.