THE STREET AND MODERN LIFE
September 10 to October 11, 2015
Since the 1970s, Hans Eijkelboom has been developing a richly ironic body of conceptual photographic work, often displayed as art books and photo-performances. His most recent projects focus on the ways in which crowds and individuals evolve in urban societies emerging from globalization. Beneath the illusions of an apparent freedom, citizens are turned into consumers, replicating the behaviours and adopting the appearances dictated by advertising and fashion. The photographs string together a parade of uniformed figures, like extras in a post-Fordist comedy with an underpinning of biting political critique. We could all be the subjects of any of these dystopian anticipations in apocalyptic iconography.
Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal is hosting the international premiere of Eijkelboom’s The Street and Modern Life (2015), commissioned by Multistory. The piece takes the form of a double frieze containing hundreds of photographs taken in public spaces in Birmingham, UK: street snapshots of passers-by who show some shared characteristic – making the same gesture, wearing the same t-shirt, carrying the same bag, or something else.
The images are then organized in accordance with the “cascading sequence” concept, in which the continuity of the discursive thread is based on the repetition of a specific factor that links each image to the next. This methodology represents a correlation with sequences shot in film or the application of the Rube Goldberg machine idea in some experimental video productions, of which the acclaimed Der Lauf der Dinge (1985), by Peter Fischli and David Weiss, is a classic.
Hans Eijkelboom was born in 1949 in Arnhem; he lives and works in Amsterdam. His works have been presented in group and solo exhibitions worldwide, including at Les Rencontres d’Arles (2014), the Images – Festival des Arts Visuels in Vevey (2014), the Folkwang Museum in Essen (2014), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2013), Fundació Foto Colectània in Barcelona (2013), the 30th Bienal de São Paulo (2012), the European Month of Photography in Luxembourg (2011), the SK Stiftung Kultur in Cologne (2009), the Jeu de Paumes in Paris (2009), the Hague Municipal Museum (2008), the FOAM Photography Museum Amsterdam (2007), and the Aperture Foundation in New York (2007). Eijkelboom has published more than fifty books. He has been nominated for important prizes, such as the Rengen-Patzsch Award from the Musem Folwang in Essen in 2009, the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize in 2008, and the European Newspaper Award in 2006 and 2004.
This project has been assisted by the Mondriaan Fonds.