Since 1972 the The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts together with the Amsterdam City Archives have commissioned photographers to document the city and its population. The concept: to create a socially significant ‘portrait of the times’ through the medium of artistic photography. Every year three projects are selected to receive a ten thousand Euro subsidy each. I’m very pleased to announce that this year my project AMSTERDAM PARK is amongst those selected.
Parks are of tremendous importance to the city of Amsterdam. They are the city’s ‘green lungs’. Not only do they provide ‘breathing space’ by functioning as collective backyards for the otherwise cramped-for-space ‘Amsterdammers’, they also cater to many of their other needs in such areas as Sports, Recreation and Nature. With people from many different cultural backgrounds (and different generations) using them for a myriad of activities, the city’s parks have become colorful mosaics.
I’m fascinated with documenting man-made landscapes (and what happens within their boundaries) from high above. This method produces an intriguing juxtaposition as it creates both a sense of anonymity through distance and a sense of intimacy with the subjects who are caught completely off guard. The end result is the park and its familiar landmarks as it’s never been seen before; a picture which offers endless new patterns and details to be discovered by the viewer. At the same time this bird’s-eye-view method connects urban life, capturing the ‘Zeitgeist’ by literally putting things into perspective.
As in my previous project PLAYGROUND, in PARK I will once again be photographing from an elevated position. This time however, I will add another dimension: I’m going to zoom in by descending to ground level and will combine the landscapes with detailed (family) portraits to create a complete document of the cultural melting pot which is the AMSTERDAM PARK.