Depth of Field, volume 7, no. 1 (December 2015)Maartje van den Heuvel: New ‘Masters’ of Dutch Landscape. Photographs of the Most Man-Made Land in the World

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Non-places

In 1996, the presentation of Snelweg: Highways in the Netherlands took place at the Rotterdam Kunsthal, a collaborative project, installation, and photo book by Theo Baart (b. 1957) and Cary Markerink (b. 1951).[27] They presented the environment of the highway, a 'non-place' previously only meant for traveling from one place to another, as a subject and important place in itself, where new types of visuals, aesthetics, and even language could be experienced.[28] Cary Markerink, who had been influenced by the work of Stephen Shore, which he previously saw in the late 1970s, mentions the magazines Aperture, Camera, and Creative Camera as sources where he saw new kinds of photography that interested him.[29] In 1982, he saw a smaller, traveling version of the New Topographics exhibition at the B2 Gallery in London, which featured only works by Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, and Joe Deal. A new type of environment was also studied by Theo Baart in his project Bouwlust.[30] (Fig. 4) Over the years, Baart had been photographing the village of Hoofddorp, where he grew up. This village lies south of Amsterdam near the Schiphol Airport. Due to the changing economy brought about by the fast-growing airport, the rural environment of Hoofddorp with its acres of wide-open space around it and its agricultural community was transformed into a suburb with new businesses, new housing developments with new types of architecture, and new types of inhabitants.

FIG2

Fig. 4. Theo Baart, Beukenhorst/Geniedijk, 1997, from the series Bouwlust. The urbanization of a polder (1999), gelatine silver print, 46 x 57,5 cm.