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ABOUT THE PROJECT The work of Amsterdam based photographer Marc Haers includes both documentary and commercial commissions. Whether he is creating global campaigns for international fashion labels or working on editorial projects, it is his unwavering effort to fuse the true with the symbolic that distinguishes his stylistic signature. His work has included a series of portrait-based projects characterized by a direct and unpretentious engagement with members of a community undertaken in their own spaces and on their own terms. He works quickly and openly with his subjects in a style that has allowed him to avoid artifice. His ability to normalize the relationship between photographer and model is a remarkable feature of his approach. Regardless of culture or background, his subjects consistently comment on the easy energy of his process. His eye for lighting and composition combined with his ability to capture the fleeting in-between expressions that pass in momentary reverie across the faces he records inform his images with sense of both the iconic and the romantic. Despite his fluid and fast-paced approach to documentary work, Marc remains a painstaking classicist. He hopes to produce images that are simultaneously truthful and immediate as well as universal and timeless. Haers’ has used his camera to tell the stories of communities from Africa to Haiti. My own collaborations with him have included Work on Canvas a time-lapse portrait project celebrating modern Amsterdam artisans as well as a pending folio being developed together with my wife Jennifer, entitled, Menswhere which examines a loosely connected community of alternative tailors from Florence, London, Tokyo, New York, Iceland, Amsterdam and Norway. In each of these as well as in Haers’ entirely personal multi-chapter magic realist projects; With One Another and A King and His Boys, he expresses an unrelenting root commitment to uncovering his subjects’ blended sense of; Where I Come From, Where I Belong and Where I Hope to Go. This intersection of past, present and future expressed on personal, ancestral, societal, cultural and popcultural levels constitutes the prime motive for his various explorations as a photographer, film-maker and artist. Given his propensity to see communities and individuals in this way, it was only natural for my wife and I to invite him up to Højer. Despite our very short time as citizens here, we felt the subliminal pull of its unique magnetism immediately on our first visit. When finalizing our decision to uproot our lives in Amsterdam and commit to a new chapter in the Tøndermarsh, we were so struck by Højer’s distinctive energy that we purchased the first and only home we visited and began planting the seeds for a life together in Hojer at once. The same unique cocktail of epic sunsets igniting the coast along the Wadden Sea, the sweeping pastoral grace of its blanketing fields and farmlands undulating with wild and domestic life in ceaseless motion, further animated by the people we encountered, their depth of character, rugged charisma, easy wisdom and hard humour found its way under Marc’s skin as soon as he arrived. Or, said in his own words:

“I've been to so many beautiful places and have been welcomed into many homes and communities. While editing at the airport yesterday I was overwhelmed by the strongest feeling of gratitude and happiness. It's hard to actually grasp the fact that I have just experienced another beautiful place and the souls that live there. I am an advocate of hard work with your heart in the right spot. I'll tell you now and in ten years it always pays off to be true to who you are. The past 3 days have been an incredible voyage of realisation that love, warmth and beauty can be found in every corner of the world. From cities to rural areas. From Africa to Haiti and now into Højer, Denmark. I truly feel that I have found my purpose as a photographer; To see places and meet their people, photograph them and help reinforce their pride in who they are and where they come from. I can't explain how much of a blessing that is. My heart is filled with joy.”

PRODUCT OF HØJER PART 1 These images were photographed inside of a 24-hour period during Haers’ first visit to the community. It is his hope as well as ours that this first series of portraits represent only the beginning. He envisions the unfolding of a more far-reaching exploration and celebration of the individuals who constitute the region’s collective character. Inscribed in these faces and cradled in these hands one can feel just a little of Where We Come From, Where We Belong and Where We Hope to Go. -Liam Maher | Resident of Hojer










Product of Hojer by Marc Haers Exhibit Catalog Draft (rev)  

Ongoing fussing with details of the Introduction Text. :)

Product of Hojer by Marc Haers Exhibit Catalog Draft (rev)  

Ongoing fussing with details of the Introduction Text. :)