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Remembering Jacqueline Hassink Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

28 November 2018

The Dutch photographer Jacqueline Hassink, who was based in New York, died from cancer on Nov. 22. During her career, she trained her lens on a series of projects on significant themes that ranged from boardrooms to women decorating car fairs to technology's siren call. She was 52.

She studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and graduated from the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, in 1992, majoring in sculpture. But she presented herself as a photographer after graduation.

The first time she used a camera was for her project on boardrooms, The Table of Power (1993-95).

For that project, she asked 40 of Europe's largest corporations for permission to photograph their boardrooms. She was looking for a table that "symbolized modern society's most important value: economic power," she explained.

Twenty-one companies agreed. And after the global recession in 2008, Hassink revisited the boardrooms for The Table of Power 2 (2009-11) to see what had changed.

Female Power Stations: Queen Bees (1996-2000) occupied her in the middle of the Table of Power series, juxtaposing the boardroom environments of female executives with their dining rooms at home.

In Car Girls (2002-08), Hassink took five years to shoot seven car shows in cities on three continents including New York, Paris, Geneva, Tokyo, Detroit and Shanghai. She was, she said, looking for "a moment of performance in which the women became more like a doll or a tool instead of an individual."

Of Haute Couture Fitting Rooms, Paris (2003-12), she said, "Because of all the mirrors and their reflections it is very hard to understand what is real and what is a reflection."

Her 10-year-long project View Kyoto (2015) took her to Zen Buddhist temples and gardens in Japan where she had gone on assignment in the late 1990s for Fortune magazine. "I thought it was unique because there is no divide between public and private, no windows in the temples and when the sliding doors are open, it creates a flowing world," she said.

Unwired (2018) combined two approaches. The first was to photograph remote locations impossible to reach with a network. The second was to show people immersed in the world of their smartphones as big city life swirled around them.

Her work has been exhibited at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur, ICP in New York, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Guangzhou Museum of Modern Art in Guangzhou.

She was a visiting lecturer at Harvard and the International Center of Photography in New York. Hassink was also an award winner of the Prix No Limit at Les Rencontres d'Arles.

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