Ad
Van Denderen

Ad Van Denderen

biographY


Trained at the school of press reporters, Ad van Denderen quickly moved towards the development of personal projects to document the contemporary world without being dependent on the limitations imposed by the news media supports.

His long-term work reveals the state of the world while confronting it with his own representation, in the tradition of documentary photography.

He thus embarks on an exploration of the world that takes him from his native country, Holland, to other territories to deal with contemporary issues such as the end of Apartheid in South Africa, the question of peace in the Holy Land, the deployment of Dutch troops in Afghanistan, the tourist industry on the Mediterranean edges, or immigration in Europe.

Go No Gothe result of 13 years of travel along the European borders of the Schengen area – is exemplary of his documentary approach: to look at and think about his subject in its history, its complexity and its humanity. Living for a few days or a few months alongside migrants, Ad van Denderen documents their daily life, with an intimate framing. In parallel to the circuits of illegal immigration, he presents the opposite mechanisms of police and judicial regulation.

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“I tried to capture this shadowy society in which people do everything they can to survive, and where shame, pride and dignity play an essential role. I wanted to give a face to those who would otherwise remain anonymous.”

With Blue so Blue, Ad van Denderen surveys the Mediterranean edges to question its political, social, economic and ecological changes. He thus highlights the blatant and hilarious effects that globalization and industrialization of tourism have on human behavior. For this work, he swapped his traditional camera and black and white films for a medium format and color films, a material which requires different work and framing. He thus conducts his research with an “external” but authentically curious eye. His representations are contemplative, never stigmatized, and act as a counterpoint to the simplified clichés of a political or media perspective.

Published and exhibited throughout Europe, notably at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, his work has been awarded prestigious prizes including the Oeuvre Prize from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, the Visa d’Or from the Festival Visa pour l’Image, the Care International Prize, and the Eugène Smith Prize.

Series


Stone, 1993-2017

Series | Stone is a recurrent factor in this region, both as an object to be thrown and to be used in the construction of houses or security barriers. To an important degree, stone defines the landscape and even the soil hydrology. It can serve as a weapon, or as an obstacle, but it also offers shelter.

Occupation Soldier, 2009

Series | Ad Van Denderen followed the new recruits in their training in Holland, and on mission in Chad and the Afghan Uruzgan: patrols and security operations.

So Blue, So Blue : Edges of the Mediterranean, 2007

Series | Ad Van Denderen spent the past 5 years photographing in every country along the Mediterranean Sea.

Welkom in South-Africa, 2004

Series | Van Denderen’s stay in Welkom gave rise to the book of photographs “Welkom in Suid Afrika”.

Go No Go, 1988-2002

Series | Schengen borders, asylum seekers and immigrants in Europe.

Stone, 1993-2017

Series | Stone is a recurrent factor in this region, both as an object to be thrown and to be used in the construction of houses or security barriers. To an important degree, stone defines the landscape and even the soil hydrology. It can serve as a weapon, or as an obstacle, but it also offers shelter.

Occupation Soldier, 2009

Series | Ad Van Denderen followed the new recruits in their training in Holland, and on mission in Chad and the Afghan Uruzgan: patrols and security operations.

So Blue, So Blue : Edges of the Mediterranean, 2007

Series | Ad Van Denderen spent the past 5 years photographing in every country along the Mediterranean Sea.

Welkom in South-Africa, 2004

Series | Van Denderen’s stay in Welkom gave rise to the book of photographs “Welkom in Suid Afrika”.

Go No Go, 1988-2002

Series | Schengen borders, asylum seekers and immigrants in Europe.

Stone, 1993-2017

Series | Stone is a recurrent factor in this region, both as an object to be thrown and to be used in the construction of houses or security barriers. To an important degree, stone defines the landscape and even the soil hydrology. It can serve as a weapon, or as an obstacle, but it also offers shelter.

Occupation Soldier, 2009

Series | Ad Van Denderen followed the new recruits in their training in Holland, and on mission in Chad and the Afghan Uruzgan: patrols and security operations.

So Blue, So Blue : Edges of the Mediterranean, 2007

Series | Ad Van Denderen spent the past 5 years photographing in every country along the Mediterranean Sea.

Welkom in South-Africa, 2004

Series | Van Denderen’s stay in Welkom gave rise to the book of photographs “Welkom in Suid Afrika”.

Go No Go, 1988-2002

Series | Schengen borders, asylum seekers and immigrants in Europe.

Interviews


Go No Go, les frontières de l’Europe
Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration

2020

This film addresses the issue of the representation of female migration by drawing on the collections of the National Museum of Immigration History. Migrant women have long been invisible or reduced to a vulnerable figure and to the traditions to which they would be subjected. This image of passivity is now widely questioned and new, more complex portraits of migrant women are appearing.

Go No Go, les frontières de l’Europe
Nederlands Fotomuseum

2019

Photographer Ad van Denderen has been following migrants and refugees trying to reach Europe since the 1980s. In archive dive no. 12, the head of the collections, Martijn van den Broek, tells the moving story behind the photograph of a woman who has just made the journey to Europe. The photo is from Van Denderen’s GO NO GO series.

Welcome in South Africa
LassoFilm

2014

During apartheid Dutch photographer Ad van Denderen worked for months in the South African mining town of Welkom, where black and white labourers worked in the same goldmine, be it under quite different circumstances. The atmosphere in Welkom was determined by racial tensions. Van Denderen gives an intriguing inside picture of the local life, both on the white and the black side. His report was also published in a great book: Welkom in South Africa.

So Blue, So Blue
HLGfilms

2013

Press opening of Ad van Denderen’s exhibition at the CRAC Languedoc-Roussillon of Sète for the festival ImageSingulières. “Blue” as the blue of the sea, “blue” as a sweet and bitter vision of magnificent shores crossed by pain and violence. Cyprus, Alexandria, Saïda, Van Denderen shows us the Mediterranean taken in all its colors between 2003 and 2008.

exhibitions


WELKOM TODAY

Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (PAYS-BAS)

Du 18 mai au 13 octobre 2019

Jerusalem Stone

Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography, Amsterdam (PAYS-BAS)

Du 9 décembre 2017 au 4 mars 2018

books


Welkom Today

Ad van Denderen, Anne Ruygt, Bas Vroege - 2019

Stone

Fw : Books - 2017

Occupation Soldier

NRC Boeken / Paradox - 2009

Welkom Today

Ad van Denderen, Anne Ruygt, Bas Vroege - 2019

Stone

Fw : Books - 2017

Occupation Soldier

NRC Boeken / Paradox - 2009

Welkom Today

Ad van Denderen, Anne Ruygt, Bas Vroege - 2019

Stone

Fw : Books - 2017

Occupation Soldier

NRC Boeken / Paradox - 2009

awards


BKVB Foundation Award (Netherlands)

Winner of the BKVB Foundation Award

2007

Prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Netherlands

Winner of the Prize of the Ministry of Culture of the Netherlands

2002

Visa d’or Magazine for the best report published in a magazine (France)

For his series: Schengen area, asylum seekers and immigrants in Europe

2001

Care International Grand Prize for Humanitarian Reportage

For his series on asylum seekers in Europe: Go No Go

2001