Hans van der Meer
In September 1995 Hans van der Meer started taking photographs of lower division amateur football games in The Netherlands (later extending to Flanders and other countries). He went out looking for football in its original form, as it had started more than hundred years ago: a plot of ground, 22 players, hardly any spectators around the pitch, just a horse in the next meadow. His results were published in Hollandse Velden (Dutch Fields), for which former Dutch soccer international Jan Mulder wrote the accompanying texts. The work is as much about landscape as it is about culture at large. Amateur football turns out to be the perfect metaphor for life in general. Flemish Fields is the video equivalent to the highly successful book . With a mild irony, Van der Meer shows us the mismatch between human ambition and the effective result, between an individual’s ‘inside’ perception and a more objective, distanced view of our behaviour.
Hans van der Meer (b. 1955) studied photography at MTS in The Hague, followed by a residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. He is probably best known for his series on amateur football, Dutch Fields (1998) and European Fields (2006, published by Steidl/MACK). In 2009, Camera Austria hosted a retrospective of his work. Through photography, film and writing Van der Meer examines the world around him. For example, his images of amateur football are also an exploration of human nature within the landscape. In The Netherlands – Off the shelf (2012) he wryly observes the increasingly homogenous built environment of provincial Dutch towns. With his latest project, Time to Change Van der Meer shows us the remarkable world of dairy farming. Hans van der Meer is based in Amsterdam and teaches at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague.
Editor(s):Hans van der Meer, Bas VroegePhotography:Hans van der MeerDesign:Yvo Zijlstra