Inspirations – Gerco de Ruijter

 

© Gerco de Ruijter Untitled 2001 32"x32" courtesy of the artist

 

47mm f/8 @ 1/500 second on Kodak Portra 400NC

I’ve been taking photographs with cameras lofted by a kite since 1991. Between 2001 and 2003, I took photos of poplars and willows in Vlaardingen’s Broekpolder. This polder was raised with silt taken from Rotterdam Harbor. The plan was to build homes. But after proof was delivered that the soil was contaminated with cadmium and mercury, no homes were constructed, and trees were planted.

Thus was created a splendid “green town”. The basic plan for the urbanization was executed after all, yet with lanes and paths for streets and trees planted in a clear grid instead of houses.

Filmmaker and writer Peter Delpeut wrote this:

Gerco de Ruijter’s photography and the Dutch landscape – they appear to be the perfect match. Paging the book with the overview of the photographs De Ruijter shot while flying his camera-kite between 1993 and 2003, one cannot escape being struck by the unique characteristics of the Dutch landscape: all ditches have been dug along a ruler, all trees are geometrically arranged, all groynes and breakwaters are dead straight.

The arrangements are Mondrian- esque – in this Dutch landscape the world is reduced to mere planes and lines. What makes these photographs so exciting, what creates their suspense, is their perpetual tumble from figurative to abstract and vice versa not unlike the images popularized by Gestalt-psychology, images that are transformed completely by even the most minimal changes of perspective. In the fresh-green grass the meticulous observer to his surprise will detect a small gathering of sheep, a lonesome horse, a few head of cattle on a dike. A quick movement of the eye, and the figurative features fade, disappear, and instantly make place for an abstract ensemble of divisions, thin and thick lines, fleecy clouds as flattened mosquitoes on the wall. The observer’s eye keeps moving between these extremes, from the human standard of detail to the grand scale of structure. In the photographs of De Ruijter, the Dutch landscape seems to be created for this Gestalt effect. ~Gerco de Ruijter

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