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Jeroen de Vries / recent work I make spatial installations in which I apply or present the work of other people, mostly photographers and filmmakers. In my eyes this is a process not unlike that of making a documentary film about someone or something. Photographer and filmmaker Johan van der Keuken said it once like this: ‘Jeroen de Vries is totally autonomous and serving at the same time.’ I listen to what a place has to tell and build my story on what I hear, often with very minimal means, working in architectural spaces created by the likes of Hendrik Berlage and De Bazel, Gerrit Rietveld and Wim Quist, Bernard Tschumi and Jean Nouvel, Peter Eisenman, and Benthem/Crouwel. This presentation features recent work in places like Schindlers factory in Cracow, a water-tower in Madrid, an harbour warehouse in Rotterdam, a complex with the grave of Josip Broz Tito in Belgrade, a baroque 18th century courtroom in Porto, a 19th century wine-cellar in Paris, a converted skating hall in Tourcoin, the only surviving 17th century building in Rotterdam and on the premises of an modernist landmark tuberculosis hospital. Most recent is an installation of the work of Robert Capa, the oldest one is an installation of the work of Eva Besnyo. Capa and BesnyĂś, two major photographic innovators, both of Hungarian Jewish descent, lived as children on the same street in Budapest and remained friends for life. Eva felt that framing her photos and hanging them as art on a wall went against the nature of her work. For her the relationship between the place, the architecture and her images was crucial. The work I did with her in 1982 is my point of departure. That is why I have added it, together with Body and City (from 1998-2001), a project in collaboration with Johan van der Keuken and The World of Koen Wessing (from 2000-2001), two other key projects. The installations shown here are the result of the collective efforts of curators, builders, graphic designers, light designers, web designers, producers, photographers, film-makers etc. I am responsible for the architecture, sometimes (co)curated them and sometimes took on some of the other roles as well. JdV

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2009 This is War / Robert Capa Gerda Taro / retrospective Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam Exhibition put together by Cynthia Young / International Center of Photography / New York

transparant screen intro text Spain, China and Holland

Projection Spanish Earth

title+ intro text capa

title+ intro text Taro

Projection The 400 Million

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vitrines binnenmaat:300x40x3,8cm, 7 stuks binnenmaat:300x50x3,8cm, 3 stuks binnenmaat:100x40x3,8cm, 1 stuks materiaal: 4mm perspex 18 en 10mm mdf vierkante stalen buis 40x40x2mm

vlak voor teksten over de volle breedte hoogte ±12 cm

Capa / the falling soldier The Spanish Civil War, which broke out on July 19, 1936, was an ultimately successful fascist insurgence led by General Francisco Franco to overthrow the Spanish Republic’s democratically elected government. The passions that the Spanish Civil War aroused in leftists all over the world was in part due to a belief that if fascism could be crushed in Spain, it might collapse everywhere, thereby averting the cataclysmic world war that many saw looming on the horizon. In early August, Robert Capa and his companion Gerda Taro rushed to Spain to cover the events. As partisans, they sided with the Republican cause. By early September, Capa and Taro had arrived in Cerro Muriano near Córdoba, where Republicans were mounting an offensive. There, twenty-two-year-old Capa would make one of his most famous photographs, Death of a Loyalist militiaman, or commonly known as “The Falling Soldier.” The published image was an immediate sensation; it was the quintessential unknown Republican soldier of the Spanish Civil War. The picture seemed to symbolize Republican Spain itself, charging forward to defend itself and being struck down. However, by the 1970s, some scholars began questioning the brilliantly composed image in part because of the lack of concrete information regarding the soldier and Capa’s reticence to speak about it. Was it staged? Did it really show a soldier at his actual death? Although there remains little hard evidence regarding what exactly hap-

The Falling Soldier was used in this graphic book cover for Death in the Making, Capa’s tribute to the suffering and sacrifice of the Spanish people while fighting for their freedom. The photographs are by Capa and Gerda Taro, who died there while photographing in July 1937. Inexplicably, The Falling Soldier only appeared on the book jacket and not in the book’s interior. Over the years many copies of the book have lost their dust jackets, making it appear that Capa did not even include his most famous image of the war, and leading some critics to question the veracity of The Falling Soldier.

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

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Robert Capa

Robert Capa

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

Man leads refugees on donkeys fleeing Nationalist bombings, near Cerro Muriano, Córdoba front, Spain, September 5, 1936

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Robert Capa

Robert Capa


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1982 Eva Besnyö, een halve eeuw werk Plaats: Amsterdams Historisch Museum, Gemeentemuseum Arnhem en in Boedapest.

Samenstelling: Carry van Lakerveld, Eva Besnyö en Jeroen de Vries.

De tentoonstelling vormde het eerste grote overzicht van het werk van fotografe Eva Besnyö. De foto’s waren zonder passe-partout gegroepeerd op panelen van 120x120 cm., die verticaal of onder een hoek stonden opgesteld. In de tentoonstelling draaide een documentaire over Besnyö, gemaakt door Hedda van Gennep en Carry van Lakerveld. 1-4 Beelden van de tentoonstelling in het Amsterdams Historisch Museum

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2009 The Tito Effect Charisma as polital legitimacy Exhibition in the Museum of 25 may in Belgrade about the period of the second Yugoslavia and the attitude to Josip Broz as the figure who personified this period. The first part of the exhibition is dedicated to the image of Tito, an obligatory part of the interiors of public spaces. Presented in the second section of the exhibition is the ritual celebration of May 25, beginning with the months of carrying a baton in relays and various performances and celebrations across the country, Gifts, the material relics of the presentation of gifts to Tito, make up the third section of the exhibition.

plan of the exhibition

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2009 / The Tito Effect

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2009 / The Tito Effect

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2009 / The Tito Effect

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2009 / The Tito Effect Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


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2008 Go-No Go / Ad van Denderen Les Voutes / Paris A project about he European struggle with immigration in photographic projections. It has been presented in different forms on several European locations. The exhibition consists of three main elements: 1. A presentation of the photos in digital projections on large screens. 2. The presentation on monitors of a series of interviews with immigrants conducted and filmed by Marjoleine Boonstra. 3. A website with facts, opinions, interviews, maps and the photos from the exhibition.

plan of the exhibition

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2008 / Go-No Go / Ad van Denderen

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2007 Hidden Images / captured from home movies Centre National de l’Audiovisuel / Luxembourg Installation combining movies and prints. A play with time and space.

plan of the exhibition

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2007 / Hidden Images Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


2007 / Hidden Images

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2007 / Hidden Images Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


2008 In History / Susan Meiselas International Center of Photography / New York Meiselas's work evolved in radical and challenging ways as she grappled with questions about her relationship to her subjects, the use and circulation of her images, and the relationship of images to history and memory. An installation combining prints, projections, film, documents, websites, books etc.

plan of the exhibition

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2008 / In History

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2008 / In History

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2008 In History / Susan Meiselas International Center of Photography / New York Kurdistan projection / in collaboration with Susan Meiselas Meiselas travelled the world with an exhibition she put together named Kurdistan, in the Shadow of History. Instead of resurrecting it as part of an exhibition on her work, I proposed to clarify Meiselas motives and methods with an installation of vitrines in combination with a multi-screen projection.

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2008 / In History

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2007 Port Images / group exhibition LP2 / Rotterdam An exhibition on the harbour of Rotterdam in an old warehouse building. Multimedia installation with documents, prints and film projections

plan of the exhibition

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2009 / /Port images

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2009 / /Port images

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2009 / /Port images

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2007 Inspiration Rotterdam / Group exhibition Rotterdam Historical Museum Prints and projections in the attic of a 17th century building. I used the wooden construction as a grid for the panels.

plan of the exhibition

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2007 / Inspiration Rotterdam

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2007 / Inspiration Rotterdam

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2007 / Inspiration Rotterdam

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2008 60 Years Magnum / group exhibition Stedelijk Museum / Post CS Amsterdam Spatial design for an exhibition created by Magnum A 45-metre-long frieze offering a linear account of MAGNUM’s over the last six decades with texts, key images and original books. Four interactively controlled projection screens which enable visitors to (re)discover the work of all the MAGNUM photographers.

plan of the exhibition

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2008 / 60 Years Magnum

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2008 / 60 Years Magnum

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2009 New York Perspectives / Group exhibition Stadsarchief Amsterdam In the central hall of the Bazels building I created a steel frame for the presentation of large images.The goal was to find ou if the entry hall could be use as an exhibition space together with the existing gallery. In this gallery I created walls covering the columns.

colofon logo’s etc

over de fotografen

over de fotos

introtekst

D C

D C

D C

D C

D C

NY

perspectives

tafel met boeken, hand out etc

plan of the exhibition

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A

B

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B

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2009 / New York Perspectives Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


2009 / New York Perspectives

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2009 / New York Perspectives

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2009 / New York Perspectives

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2008 >Play - a photographic record / Carel van Hees 2008 / Kunsthalle Ludwigshaven >Play is about what it is like to be young, anywhere and in all eras. The Rotterdam photographer Carel van Hees turned his camera on the youth of Rotterdam. Digital projections, website, film and a soundtrack.

plan of the exhibition

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2008/ >Play - a photographic record / Carel van Hees

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2001 >Play - a photographic record / Carel van Hees Las Palmas Rotterdam Theme: youth culture in Rotterdam Concept and production: Bas Vroege (Paradox) Programming audio-visuals: Gerald van der Kaap The large size of the space was a challenge. How could one draw visitors into the space and into the work of Carel van Hees? I used the constructive grid of the building, an old warehouse, in which the supportive columns are very present. They were to carry the projectors. 'Look through-screens' as large as the projectors would tolerate were positioned diagonally in the space. From a plan the logic and the simplicity of the set-up was clear; inside the installation the result was quite overwhelming. Visitors would bring folding chairs into the space, finding their own point of view and creating their own theatre.

plan of the exhibition

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2001/ >Play - a photographic record / Carel van Hees

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2008 The last days of shismaref / Dana Lixenberg / Melle van Essen LP2 / Rotterdam The photographs of Dana Lixenberg and the camerawork of Melle van Essen are mounted together in space, separated by a half transparent screen. Installation includes a soundtrack, an extensive website, projected animated maps, a timeline, newsfeeds and a large number of monitors with news and interviews.

plan of the exhibition

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2008 / The last days of shismaref

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2008 / The last days of shismaref

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2008 / The last days of shismaref

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2

1 5

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Steel frame suspended from the ceiling, covered with black fabric Digital projector Screen Benches Touch screens with database of over a thousand photos

2003 / Colour / Black and White / 1000 photos of Amsterdam

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2003 Colour / Black and White 1000 photos of Amsterdam Place:Amsterdam Historical Museum De tentoonstelling is een samenwerkingsproject van het Gemeentearchief en het Amsterdams Historisch Museum, en wordt samengesteld door Anneke van Veen (Gemeentearchief), Wim de Bell (Historisch Museum) en Jeroen de Vries (freelance tentoonstellingsmaker en ontwerper). 1- one of the projection units suspended from the ceiling

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2003 Colour / Black and White 1000 photos of Amsterdam Een belangrijk deel van de tentoonstelling bestaan uit twee installaties (op elke verdieping ĂŠĂŠn), waarmee series worden geprojecteerd. De geprojecteerde series zijn chronologisch of op thema zijn geordend. Aan een zestal schrijvers en columnisten schreven naar aanleiding van een serie een kort essay of een column en droegen deze bij de projectie voor. Een derde onderdeel van de tentoonstelling is de digitale fotobank. Het idee van de fotoserie als vertelling wordt voortgezet in een speciaal voor dit project samengestelde databank, waarin ca. 125 series zijn verzameld. (ca. 1000 foto's). Alle series die in de tentoonstelling getoond worden, in projectie en in druk, zijn in deze fotobank terug te vinden, aangevuld met vele tientallen series uit de collectie die anders in depot zouden achterblijven. Binnen iedere serie is overigens ook weer een strenge keuze gemaakt. Met behulp van dit programma kunnen persoonlijke keuzes worden gemaakt en kunnen series uit verschillende perioden naast elkaar worden bekeken en vergeleken. Er kan gezocht worden op thema en op periode en iedere serie kan als een klein dia-programma worden opgeroepen en bekeken. De series zijn voorzien van een korte toelichting. Soms zal worden geciteerd uit de oorspronkelijke aanvraag, hetgeen een indruk geeft van de motieven die de fotograaf had toen hij aan de opdracht begon. In de tentoonstelling worden ongeveer 250 originele drukken getoond, verdeeld over twee verdiepingen en de tussenverdieping van het tentoonstellingsgebouw.

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2003 Colour / Black and White 1000 photos of Amsterdam Place:Amsterdam Historical Museum

De tentoonstelling is een samenwerkingsproject van het

Gemeentearchief en het Amsterdams Historisch Museum, en wordt samengesteld door Anneke van Veen

(Gemeentearchief), Wim de Bell (Historisch Museum) en

Jeroen de Vries (freelance tentoonstellingsmaker en ontwerper).

Sinds 1971 verstrekt de Stichting Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst jaarlijks documentaire foto-opdrachten. Bovendien heeft het AFK in de jaren 1978-1988 nog eens 28 'historische' of 'archiefopdrachten' verleend. Inmiddels bestaat de collectie uit zo'n 185 series. De samenstellers hebben voor dit project alle opdrachten bekeken. Vervolgens is een concept bedacht dat niet uitgaat van de individuele foto's, maar van series. Er zijn ongeveer 250 originele drukken tentoongesteld, er zal een digitale fotobank worden samengesteld.

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2004 Zonnestraal, the story of a building Theme: exhibition regarding a landmark modernist building of the 1930s Assembled by: Ton Idsinga Production: Kunst en Kultuur Noordholland Zonnestraal is a former sanatorium, built in 1931 by the diamond workers' union, designed by the architect Jan Duiker. The largest part of the exhibition was constructed in the open air and positioned so that the newly restored main building of the sanatorium was constantly in sight. Thus the building formed the main exhibit. Another part of the exhibition was in a small structure built to house part of the staff of the sanatorium. I mounted thin steel tubes between the ceiling and floor, and between each two tubes hung a large sheet of paper on which a photo or a drawing with text was printed. The sheet of paper were mounted with rubber straps. The central living area of the little building was used for an audiovisual presentation in which we combined historical film material and soundtracks, photos and drawings with a spoken commentary by Ton Idsinga.

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2004 Zonnestraal, the story of a building

2004 / Zonnestraal, the story of a building

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2004 / Zonnestraal, the story of a building Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


2007 Why Mister, Why? / Geert van Kesteren Schindlers factory / Cracow / Poland Images of the war in Iraq and texts projected on very large screens, RSS news-feeds, soundtrack, and website integrated in the installation. Has been presented in the NFM in 2005

plan of the exhibition

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2007 / Why Mister, Why? / Geert van Kesteren / Schindlers factory

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2007 / Why Mister, Why? / Geert van Kesteren / Schindlers factory

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2006 Meagre / Geert van Kesteren Huis Marseille Amsterdam A travelling exhibition on poverty. Photos mounted with rubber bands

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2000 The World of Koen Wessing Theme: Retrospective exhibition of Koen Wessing Assembled by Jeroen de Vries and Koen Wessing

Production: Amsterdam Historical Museum, 2000

Also presented in the CPF, the Portuguese Centre for Photography, Porto, 2001

Some 100 prints on large sheets of paper were hanging

freely in the space. Ten projection screens, mounted in a cir-

cle, showed the photos as documentaries and enlarged

details.

The exhibition demonstrated the sheer power and range of

photography, from visual poetry to historical document, from propaganda to document humain.

Model and drawing of the projections

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2000 / The world of Koen Wessing / prints and projections Jeroen de Vries / documentation


2000 / The world of Koen Wessing

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2000 / The world of Koen Wessing / prints and projections Jeroen de Vries / documentation


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2001 The world of Koen Wessing Porto, Cpf, Portugees Centrum voor Fotografie, 2001

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1998 -2001 Body and City Johan van der Keuken

in collaboration with Jeroen de Vries

Comments by Jeroen de Vries The collaboration between Johan van der Keuken and me dates back to 1993, when I was asked as guest curator to make a retrospective exhibition of his photographic work at the Amsterdam Historical Museum. In an effort to address the relationship between Van der Keuken’s photographic and cinematographic work, I placed a film cabin at the heart of the exhibition. Outside the cabin I mounted an installation showing a sequence of the film Eye Above the Well on a large monitor. Around the monitor were smaller screens showing the constituent shots of the sequence. I share Van der Keuken’s awareness of the need to challenge the rigid linear time axis of a film, the rigid position of the viewer vis á vis the screen and the rigid way photography is often presented and applied. In Body and City, we explore the space between photography and film in the architectural environment. All the presentations of this project combine to form a complex and rich installation. I have chosen not to manipulate Van der Keuken’s images. Inside their frames they remain untouched, but mounted in space, they have relative autonomy. There they are incorporated into a larger whole. The India installation at the Amsterdam Historical Museum was mounted on a flat surface and dealt with the linear notion of time. Dealing with space as we do in this installation, we are dealing with the unforeseen, the unlinear, with chance.

1. Poster of Body & City on the front of De Balie.

2. Cross-section of De Balie.

3. Plan ground floor. 4. Plan first floor.

Jeroen de Vries / documentation


1998 Body and City Johan van der Keuken

in collaboration with Jeroen de Vries Comments by Jeroen de Vries, continued

In his recent photography, Johan van der Keuken exposes the same film several times in the camera, voluntarily abandoning his lifelong control over the image. Making films, he takes other risks, lives the life of an adventurer, going off to war zones and isolated parts of the world. In his home town Amsterdam, he seems to move around in circles with his film camera, as if touching the erogenous zones of a familiar body. And then in the darkroom or at the editing table, nothing is left to chance. There Johan van der Keuken regains control over his life and his work, mastering his material. In Amsterdam Global Village, unsimultaneous and unrelated events seem to be occurring at the same time and as part of the same story. He creates a Joycian unity of time and space. A global village. I did not mount the images one after the other like in a film, nor did I mount them on flat walls like at a gallery. Everything can be viewed at virtually the same time and in the same space, printed on photographic paper or moving on dozens of screens as free and transparent elements in the architectural environment. The viewer moves around, ascends and descends stairs, seems to be in control of time and space, of body and city as they are presented. As Johan van der Keuken once stated in another context, the whole constellation is chance provoked by us.

1. Screen with film projections above the bar of De Balie. 2,3. A large ellipsoid table is mounted between the steel struts of the Central Body,

film images are projected on it.

4. New York series with film images Jeroen de Vries / documentation


1998 Body and City Johan van der Keuken

in collaboration with Jeroen de Vries

Introduction by Johan van der Keuken: This project grew from my pondering the interaction between photography and film and where the two can viably coincide. I have been active for a good two decades in the border area between them, and have tried out any number of ways to link two or more photographs outside the ordinary chronological sequence. There are associations and contrasts pertaining to content, story, framework, composition, texture, colour, tone, movement and light. The expositions/installations are designed by Jeroen de Vries, who I did an exhibition with called Johan van der Keuken, photographer and film-maker at the Amsterdam Historical Museum in 1993. Jeroen de Vries has been the man behind a variety of innovative shows. One large recent project was Here When/Amsterdam in the Last Year of the War. The collaboration between the photographer/film-maker and the designer plays a central role in the entire project. The idea is to use image, projection, sound and visual instruments to create individual and distinct worlds and atmospheres. JvdK.

The installation in De Balie in Amsterdam

1. Projection on the Central Body.

2. Part of the Sarajevo installation. 3. Nudes, Seeing and Not Seeing. 4. New York

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1998 Body and City A nine-metre high 'body' occupies a central position in Jeroen de Vries’ design. The installation consists of a nine-metre high transparent body that images are projected from and onto. A steel frame is covered with pieces of screening like an enormous hauberk. The screening is light, you can see through it and it has a metallic sheen. The images projected onto it appear like quick pictures the viewer can see through to other pictures, other spaces. Like satellites, projection screens of various sizes protrude from the structure. The colossus leaves the floor free, and in between the legs it is standing on, there is a large ellipse-shaped table. Film images are also projected onto the table. Johan van der Keuken’s photographic and film projections.

The installation in Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains.

Jeroen de Vries / documentatie


1998 Body and City The Central Body in Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains.

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1998 Body and City

Artforum, January 1999 The core component, “decentralized” to Le Fresnoy art school in Tourcoing, was intitled the Central Body, a 27 foot high semi-transparant structure (sculpture? billboard? movie screen?) on which (and from which) are projected slides and film clips - a sort of audiovisual enactment of the global village: Sniper fire from Sarajewo can be heard behind burnt out buildings in New York’s Lower East Side; skaters on Amsterdam’s frozen canals are just a blink away from the sex shops in the red light district. Van der Keuken recalled with satisfaction that in Amsterdam, were the piece was originally installed, visitors to the space could not only roam around the images and sounds, but sip coffee and read newspapers on the structures’s tablelike base. On a smaller scale the satellite installations of “Body and City”were presented in four separate venues in Paris, combined photo friezes, wall collages, and photograms with films and tape loops to evoke, among other things, street life (or death) in Amsterdam, La Paz, New York, and Sarajewo. Like The Central Body, these mini-environments combining still and moving images were intended -as the title “Body and City” also impliesto draw visitors into and out of the exhibition space, to transform spectators into active participants, and, ultimately, to recall the violence and chaos of “what’s happening on the street”. Miriam Rosen

The Central Body in Le Fresnoy,

Studio National des Arts Contemporains. Jeroen de Vries / documentation


1998 Body and City Sarajewo / November 1993November 1996

in the Maison EuropĂŠenne de la Photographie

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1998 Body and City Centre de Cultura ContemporĂŠnia de Barcelona (CCCB) 1999 Jeroen de Vries / documentation


2001 Body and City Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus Ohio, 2001 Jeroen de Vries / documentation


Why Hang a Photo on a Wall? Ineke Schwartz Designer Jeroen de Vries has departed from the twodimensional approach to exhibition before, but never on the grand scale of the Body and City project now showing in Amsterdam’s De Balie. Visitors literally wander through the many layers of the work of photographer and filmmaker Johan van der Keuken. Amsterdam cultural and political centre De Balie has been through plenty of renovations over the years. It has been home to numerous installations, video walls, special sets and ‘environments’. But nothing in the past can match Body and City, a new project by Johan van der Keuken and Jeroen de Vries. The entire building has been reconstructed as a multimedia environment. Visitors are surrounded by images: enormous black-and-white and colour photographs hang everywhere and short film loops are constantly being shown. Extending from ground level to the first floor, a gigantic installation covered with fine silvery gauze acts as screen, conduit and reflector for projections. Its tentacles reach out in all directions to provide yet more screens. Visitors walk through layers of images from New York, Sarajevo, La Paz, Mysore and Amsterdam.

own presentation. I always try to tell a story in three dimensions. My father was an architect, a pupil of Niegeman, so I grew up in a modernist tradition. There was nothing unusual about investigating possibilities for the three-dimensional presentation of photography. Think of the rooms of El Lissitsky. I just kept on pursuing that investigation after other exhibition makers stopped.’ That’s what makes the collaboration with Van der Keuken so perfect. ‘Johan doesn’t have rigid preconceptions. As soon as he’s mastered something, he starts experimenting. More than other creators of images, he’s fascinated by the tensions between architecture, photography and film, just like me. We also share a desire to question the linear character of film and the viewer’s position with regard to the screen.’ This kind of intensive collaboration between artist and designer is rare. Usually the artist and his ideas are sacrosanct and the exhibition designer is limited to determining partitions, lighting and colours. De Vries is much more rigorous. His presentation imposes itself on the work of the photographer.

This is the biggest project yet for Jeroen de Vries, who conceived the installation. ‘I’ve been mounting photography exhibitions since 1980, and always as threedimensional installations. I had used the idea of linking film and photography before, in 1993, for an earlier project with Johan. But I’d never done it on this scale.’

‘I don’t see myself as an independent visual artist, but neither am I fully subservient,’ he says. ‘My work swings between the two extremes. I have a lot to say about what the artist does. After De Balie invited him, Johan came to see me with a text explaining his ideas about this project. I understood what he meant and set to work with materials and models. The themes he put forward are still there, but a lot more has been added. Together we produced something neither of us had expected.

De Vries prefers to avoid the beaten path. The exhibition When here..., about the famine in the Netherlands in the last winter of World War II, which he made for the Amsterdam Historical Museum several years ago, was shown in winter and was largely outdoors so that the visitors, approximately 150 thousand of them, could experience the cold at first hand. He also projected Cas Oorthuys’s World War II photos onto the Dam.

‘Johan once said, “Jeroen serves and is also autonomous. He does what he wants to and makes his own work, but he also serves what heís exhibiting,” says De Vries. ‘Body & City is about people in big cities of course, but it is also a play of layers. The underlying themes are skin, surface and transparency. You literally walk between the layers of images. That works nicely with Van der Keuken’s multiple exposures.’

This approach comes naturally to De Vries. ‘Why hang photos on walls, clamped lifelessly behind mats? Often that’s not the best way to convey the content. Every photographer, every subject and every project requires its

It’s about looking at familiar things anew. Like touching a lover: itís familiar, but your touch is still exploratory. Ineke Schwartz

Body and City / documentation


Jeroen de Vries / recent work