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The landscape of North Holland is often perceived as natural. But the truth is – it is as artificial as it gets. Entirely manmade, it is an important part of our cultural heritage. Moreover, this cultural construct, largely shaped by agriculture, can be considered a monument. Several factors threaten its status today: vast housing developments, insufficient agricultural growth, extensive industrial construction, recreational expansion, traffic and, most importantly, the lack of concern of the citizens.

The latter aspect is, perhaps, the most worrying: the feeling of non-involvement leads to indifference towards future developments. The North Holland Biennale seeks to address citizen awareness through the works of contemporary designers, architects, visual artists and photographers. Their approach is sometimes a critical analysis, a lyrical homage or an ironical statement. But that is not all: the question is turned to the citizens themselves: what do you, the North Hollanders, young and old, believe to be important?

How can we, in our current social and economic reality, also respect the environment? Will the entire North Holland become one big industrial terrain or a recreational parc? What are the economical benefits for farmers apart from their contribution to nature preservation? Where and how do we want to live in this monument? The possible answers to these questions, as we shall see, are often full of contradictions and thereby create new questions.

NH DISAPPEARS challenges you with them and does so through five exhibitions spread out between different locations, all coverable within one day. Each covers one sub-topic:
NH VERTRUT (NH in a Fuss) dealing with housing issues was shown in Kunstcentrum Bergen.
NH VERZUIPT (NH Drowns) was hosted by Vishal in Haarlem.
NH VERPRETPARKT (NH Disneyfies) was to see in De Boterhal in Hoorn.
NH VERRUIGT (NH Roughs Up) was presented in Museum Waterland in Purmerend and focused on the relationship between landscape and agriculture.
NH VERPAUPERT (NH Pauperizes) in the Grote Kerk of Schermerhorn dealt with the subject of industrialization.

Authors

Andrea Stultiens is not completely at ease with calling herself a photographer, or an artist. Instead she describes herself as someone doing things with photographs. She makes them, collects them, looks at them, thinks and writes about them. Sometimes she makes the results of this visible for the rest of the world online, in books or in exhibitions. All of this is aimed at telling relevant stories about the way we relate to others and how we deal with what we consider to be our own culture.


Next to the mostly self-initiated projects Stultiens also teaches at the BFA program of Academy Minerva in Groningen, where she is also the head of the research group PRICCAPractice that investigates the use of photographs in artistic practices. The Ebifananyi book series and the exhibitions connected to it is the artistic output of her practice based research at PhDArts / Leiden University.



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Hans van der Meer (b. 1955) is known for his work on lower league football. Steidl- MACK published European Fields in 2006. The exhibition travelled to, among others, the Fotomuseum Winterthur, and the Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea (Milan). A mid career retrospective on his work was organised by Camera Austria (Graz) in 2009. His book The Netherlands - Off the Shelf was published in 2012.

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Xavier Ribas (Barcelona, 1960) lives and works in Brighton (UK) and Barcelona (E). In his work Ribas focuses on how landscape and architecture influence social structures.
Ribas studied at the University of Barcelona (1990) and at the Newport School of Art and Design in the UK. Since 2000 he is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Brighton.

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Luuk Kramer (b. 1958) is a professional architecture photographer. He works primarily for architecture firms such as Claus en Kaan, Quist Wintermans, and Cepezed, but also for contractors and developers. His photographs have been published in the Dutch Architecture Yearbook, as well as in a variety of newspapers and specialist journals. Luuk Kramer has also contributed to a variety of books.

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