07.11.2011  •  Art NEWS


Soft Horizons by Scarlett Hooft Graafland als Bildband, im Huis Marseille Amsterdam und über das Geheimnis ihres ikonischen Eisbären

Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Grenzgängerin zwischen Fotografie, Performance und Skulptur, veranstaltet Live-Performances in den Salzwüsten Boliviens, in der Arktis, im ländlichen China und Indien, in den Lavafeldern Islands oder in der niederländischen Kulturlandschaft. Die unwirkliche Schönheit der rauen Naturlandschaften nutzt die niederländische Künstlerin hierbei als ihre Leinwand.

Nach Ausstellungen u.a. in Rencontres d’Arles, World Expo in Shanghai, MOCCA Museum in Toronto und im Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, zeigt das Huis Marseille in Amsterdam noch bis Ende des Monats ihre faszinierenden Bilder. Im Kehrer Verlag ist hierzu ein schöner, begleitender Bildband erschienen (29,4 x 24,5 cm, 122 Seiten, 50 Farbabb., ISBN 978-3-86828-223-8 , 35 Euro).

Scarlett Hooft Graafland sprach mit Nanda van den Berg über das Making of des bekannten Motifs "Polar Bear". Das ganze Interview gibt es auf der Webseite des Museums.

NvdB: Your polar bear has become an icon. What do you think makes the image so compelling?
SHG: I was able to give that image several layers. It has something very dramatic about it, with that grey light, the bear all huddled up – it looks a bit like Rodin’s Thinker, but then the legs sticking out make it a humorous image after all. If it weren’t for the legs, the picture would be more one-dimensional. And Inuit sculptures and drawings are often part-human and part-animal. You see the same thing in their myths and legends. So I also wanted to put that idea into the photographs.

NvdB: How long did you actually work on that shot?
SHG: Quite a long time. It started with the polar bear skin, which was drying out over a sort of balustrade. It’s just amazing, a huge white thing like that. It’s incredible to see a skin like that just lying there. In the Inuit tradition, you don’t knock on the door; only the police do that. So it’s normal to just walk in – and there I saw a very old woman, snoring on the sofa. Who turned out to be the hunter. I made a deal with her, to hire the skin on a per-day basis. And then I went looking for locations, with Sheba, an Inuit girl who was helping me. Her husband had allowed her to take the snowmobile. First I sort of mounted the skin on a length of rope. Gradually, over a week, the image took shape. I think I went out with Sheba three or four times. Then I suddenly had the idea that I should be sitting on something. So I had to search for a stepladder. All sorts of practical things like that. And the weather had to be good, too; that really grey light. We had to wait a while before the light was right. (...)