They are everywhere in Tokyo: security guards at construction sites. Come rain or shine, they are always there. Their perseverance is as absurd as it is admirable.

The age of teinen, the Japanese word for retirement, is 62. However, retiring in Japan does not mean the same thing as in Europe. Teinen marks the end of ‘lifetime employment’ but not a complete withdrawal from the labour force. This transitional arrangement is designed to free up jobs for younger workers.

What’s more, if you have spent your entire career working six days a week and most of your social life has revolved around work, retirement is akin to social isolation.

Visualising a small, everyday subject that examines a larger phenomenon is an approach that Simone Mudde and Olivier van Breugel have previously applied to projects such as McHotel (2012) and Between Screens (2014). Mono Men (2016) is a series of monumental videos about endlessness and boredom. The dedication with which the guards perform their monotonous work raises questions about the meaning and perception of time.

 

Authors

Olivier van Breugel (1989) is a Dutch artist working and living in Amsterdam. He often collaborates with Simone Mudde.


In 2011 Olivier received his Bachelors Degree in Photography at AKV | Sint Joost, Breda. During his studies he went on a six month erasmus exchange at the Kunsthøgskolen in Bergen (KHiB), Norway.



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Simone Mudde (1989) is a Dutch photographer working and living in Amsterdam. After a succesful collaboration on the project McHotel with Olivier van Breugel, they decided to join forces as duo.

In this collaboration Mudde and Van Breugel both fulfil different roles. Olivier has a more analytical approach, where Simone works more associative and likes to quickly form ideas. By focusing the camera on a small story they show a bigger phenomenon. The final presentation form is just as important as the pictures.

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Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Still from Mono Men
Still from Mono Men
© Mudde & Van Breugel
Preview of Mono Men at BredaPhoto
Preview of Mono Men at BredaPhoto
© Olivier van Breugel
Screening of Mono Men at BredaPhoto
Screening of Mono Men at BredaPhoto
© Olivier van Breugel
A two screen preview of the multiscreen Mono Men video installation at BredaPhoto
A two screen preview of the multiscreen Mono Men video installation at BredaPhoto
© Olivier van Breugel
Mono Men at BredaPhoto
Mono Men at BredaPhoto
© Olivier van Breugel
Simone Mudde and Olivier van Breugel
Simone Mudde and Olivier van Breugel
© Bas Vroege
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)
Mono Men 5 screen installation (study)

Exhibition Mono Men

Mono MenGuardians of Time is a series of monumental videos about endlessness, boredom and dedication.

A two screen preview of the multiscreen Mono Men video installation was presented at the international photo festival BredaPhoto (NL) in October 2016. During Art Rotterdam 2017, Mono Men will be part of the group exhibition Concepts & Prospects, curated by Noor Mertens (curator contemporary art at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen Rotterdam).

The Mono Men installation is currently available. Please check with aw@paradox.nl for booking possibilities and pricing.
  • 09.02.201712.02.2017Art Rotterdam (NL) (Part of the group show Concepts & Prospects)

    15.09.201630.10.2016Faam Fabriek, BredaPhoto (NL)

    09.06.201711.06.2017Presence of Olivier and Simone in the Panel Discussion at Foam Fusion Festival (NL)

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    Edine Wijnands, BN De Stem, 14-10-2016 Read more »

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