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Matinee: Joost Vandebrug's Pillow Book Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

1 June 2024

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 555th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Joost Vandebrug's Pillow Book.

In this 2:41 video from Galerie Bildhalle, Joost Vandebrug talks about his Pillow Book project.

His Web site explains the concept:

Pillow Book is an exploration into the connections between past and present experiences. Much like the Japanese concept of a "pillow book," where personal reflections are curated into a single artistic space, Vandebrug's work captures the essence of moments reshaped by time and the impact of our memories on new realities they form.

His images are compositions composed of over 100 monotypes on handmade paper cards meticulously arranged after they have been laid with the processed emulsions he has stripped from their film base.

In the liner notes, he describes what he's thinking:

As I go through the motions of life, I am aware that darkness will always be looming, but as I'm standing here today, in a place where there is light, I also accept that each moment of darkness or light is inevitably connected to each other and therefore, as Whitman once wrote, a miracle. It's the bliss of hindsight, which is also the place where this story, my most intimate work to date, was created.

Vandebrug, who studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, uses a variety of printing techniques including pigment transfers and silver-gelatin prints, on hand-made Washi, copper plates and traditional Barite paper.

He is fascinated by the susceptibility and fragility of historic photographic techniques, which often puts him at odds with the photographic tradition of producing and preserving perfect prints.

Vandebrug previously worked as a commercial photographer and filmmaker. He was represented by Art+Commerce in New York and shot worldwide campaigns for clients like Nike and Superdry and editorials for magazines such as i-D and L’Uomo Vogue.

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