Between 2003 and 2013, many of the theaters and museums in Amsterdam underwent thorough renovation or started, often ambitious, new construction projects. I wondered what would remain from the actual museum and its aura, when the paintings were gone, the walls bare and stripped and the depots deserted. Is a theater still a theater after the the chairs have been taken out and the curtain literally fell? Investigation of these questions led to a decade of photographing the construction sites of the buildings that were closed for the public during many years. Working simultaneous at multiple construction sites, it sometimes felt as if all these buildings behind their fences were connected and formed an imaginary city, hidden and invisible for the public.
2003 - 2006, many of the buildings are stripped to the bare walls, and the construction of the building becomes transparent
In 2007, the former Nieuwe Delamar Theatre and the neighbouring movietheaters Calypso and Cinerama are demolished to make space for the new to build "De La Mar Theaters. There is a dramatic meaning to the total eradication of a building; only months after the demolition was completed, people already could not remember what building once stood there.
From 2008 onward, the emphasis shifted to the newly build constructions, and the layers paint and decorative panels that cover the construction
The photographs are published in the book ‘Verborgen Stad / Hidden City‘.
Willem van Toorn wrote a series of poems, inspired by the photographs, translated to English by Willem Groeneweg.
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
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