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Het Nieuwe Instituut, Photography

I used to write film reviews for a newspaper. I remember that for a long time I was worrying that I would be sitting in that film theatre, and not having a clue what to write about the film I was watching. Or rather: that I would have no idea what to think of it. And very often I didn’t. I’m slow when it comes to forming opinions. I often left the theatre with an empty head, facing a deadline the very next morning. It took me a couple of years before I dared to trust that whatever movie I was watching, I would be able to write something sensible about it as soon as I started writing.

Writing was my job, a small one, but a job nevertheless. I couldn’t afford to be picky. I’ve seen the most wonderful films in my capacity as a reviewer, but I also had to sit through many horrible, mind numbing movies. With photography assignments, I do have the luxury to say no (see Yes). I’m not a professional, it’s not my job, and there are things that I can’t do and don’t want to do. When agreeing on taking pictures in this studio, I realized that somewhere along the way, I have built the confidence that if I do say yes, I will be able to pull it off. And gradually, I find myself saying yes more often.

It’s a space in a space, basically, and I love photographing spaces that are bounded, limited. And I like working spaces, those peculiar biotopes that suggest their own mysterious routines and procedures, inconceivable to outsiders.




Studio Makkink & Bey, photographing their work in progress for the London Design Biennale in September. Pictures taken with the Nikon.

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