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Portfolio website
Frank van der Salm's main focus has been the Urban Landscape in it’s broadest sense. Early influences of the New Topographics have over the years evolved into a diverse oeuvre on the control of landscape, lack of space, infrastructural issues and the visual consequences of the pressure on time and space in contemporary metropolises, reflecting our ways of communication and it’s speed.
Now that the world has developed from separate cities with local activities to one world of presentation, image and news, when working in the photographic field one relies on this new reality, created by the 'technical image' itself: Photography, Video, Film, Internet, Games, etc. Reality exists in the images that represent it. With focus on the specific vs. the ordinary and the original vs. the copy, it elaborates on this medium's dualistic position. Lately, and attention shifted to the new centers of economic power, resulting in projects next to but including the United States and Asia over the last couple of years.
Projects with architects like OMA/Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, MVRDV on infrastructural or cultural projects like the Atelier HSL and coöperation with professionals in other media brought increasing diversity in approaching the contemporary environment. Thus, a city is created with an 'imaginery status' of reality, images transformed into truth. This real is part of Sim-City: a micro-cosmos of urban existence, and real and unreal at the same time.
His photoworks are published widely and have been exhibitied in galleries and museums worldwide, among which the Biennale of Venice, Italy (2001), Haunch of Venison, Zürich, Switzerland (2005), Akinci Gallery, Amsterdam, NL (2009), and the Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, NL. The works are collected around the world.
Landscape photographs are normally full of information about the location, horizon, scale, distances and perspective of the landscape. Not so with the photographs of Frank van der Salm (born in Delft in 1964). Here, the viewer is left with countless questions rather than answers. Through the manipulative potential of his technique in taking the picture, the usual gauges found in the photograph are rendered utterly useless. In particular, it is hard to estimate the scale of what it is that has been photographed. Are we talking about a mountain, or indeed, a maquette? There is no focal point, because so much of the subject is out of focus, and Van der Salm’s very effective framing also means that one cannot always deduce a context.
Van der Salm’s ambiguous images demonstrate the ability of photography to transcend mere representation. They ask us to review and expand our presumptions about what’s “real”, refining our skills of perception and relearning how to look. (Andrea Alessi)
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