The slow selfie made with a pinhole camera.

The slow selfie made with a pinhole camera.

Slow Selfie Joost GerritsenAs never before has the selfie, or self portrait, been so prominent. With a touch on the screen we make a photo and with another one we show it to the world.

Photography has come a long way and will go forward still. In ways unseen. It wouldn’t surprise me if we wear our camera annex mobile phone in our clothing in the coming years. Or wear tattoos, electronics directly connected with our nerve system.

As a reaction to the fast, unlimited way of making selfies and other digital photos I worked on some low tech selfies.

I’m participating at the moment in a photography exhibition and I made especially for this exhibition a dozen or so selfies made with the most basic photo camera of all the pinhole camera. I wanted to make a different photo. A slow selfie,  a photo that takes time. A photo that has to sink in and simmer for a while before it comes to full age.

The slow selfie was made with a low tech camera. A pinhole camera made out of clay. A basic material without any material value. A simple ceramic box with a tiny hole on the front.

The process of making a pinhole selfie takes time. First you have to build the camera. Secondly you put the photo sensitive paper into the camera in the dark room. And then you go outside and make your slow selfie. (which means, sitting still for 2 minutes!!) Thus after exposing the paper to the light for a minute or two you develop the it in the dark room. If you’ve done all this correctly and in the right order.. you finally can admire the end result. A dreamy black and white slow selfie photo!

In the end I made about twenty selfies. As the photo’s from the pinhole camera is in negative, you have to change it to let it be more “natural”. That’s the high teck part. I inverted the black and white of the slow selfie in Photoshop and finally printed them.





The moment we’ve all been waiting for.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for.

In every work of art there is a tension point. A force that makes or breaks the work. As by kitsch and sloppy art works the tension is broken or wasn’t there in the first place. It’s a point or sphere that gives the work it’s general touch and feel.
Kitsch gives it tension point easily away. It’s like a rubber band, used to many times. It’s starts to crumble and disinterested. The maximum tension is far over due and the emotional values have become blunt and bland. Like a ritual that became a custom and again changed into routine.
The tension point of a sloppy art work never reached it’s peek, it’s barely staying alive, thanks to artificial breathing machines in the form of speculation and external circumstances. A sloppy artwork is not going anywhere, it does not scream, it does not suffocate, it just endures the burden of time until it is destroyed.

Not in all artworks the tension point is obvious, in most it stays hidden or is spread over the work like a veil.
Perhaps one of the most clear and naked form of the tension point in an artwork is the painting of God almost touching Adam in the Sistine Chapel. It’s the unpainted spark between the two hands, reaching out or pulling back. There are many more artworks where the tension point is literately created. May it be The Raft of the Medusa by Géricault or a slit painting by Lucio Fontana. It all comes down to the unexpected break where we all are waiting for but is postponed over and over again. Like watching Charlie Chaplin walking with his eyes closed in the direction of a pothole. But by a rare change of fate he manages to avoid a total disaster and steps aside. (grips a pole to steady himself and sweeps to and fro over a chasm barely holding on).

The tension point of an artwork is the fun, the excitement and the freshness that we seek in an artwork. It’s the question and sometimes uncomfortable image that captures our emotions and thoughts. Sometimes with shock, sometimes it slowly trickles through. There is no speed limit for art, it comes and goes without warning!


Opening Exhibition Atarazanas

Opening Exhibition Atarazanas

arte en la atarazana joost gerritsen

The exhibition at the Atarazana in Valencia was opened by the council member of culture in Valencia. A young women who really took interest in the works that where on show. She asked every artists about their work and expressed her feelings and ideas about her favourites.

Something that’s great because more often then not people are to polite on exhibitions and discussions rarely exceed the level of “I like that work, yaks the wine is awful…”
There was no wine though this time everybody was forced to look at the works sober and with a clear eye. The whole show had works on display of twelve artists from who two where guists. The other ten (including me) are part of a group, called Grup Arreu. The artists of Grup Arreu are : Manolo Gil, Jesús Albaladejo, Javier P. Vaquer, Dani Granero, Jordi Gamón, Juan Llorca, Andrada, Joost Gerritsen, Rebeka Català and Andrés Carrasco.

It’s great to see so many different styles com together in an exhibition, the freedom to walk from one realm into another. Different worlds together in one big hall. The Atarazana was used as a ship yard in the past. The Drassanes as it’s called in Valenciano was built in the IV century in a Gothic style. The building that definitely has it’s own grandeur is placed on a list of protected architecture in Spain.

The exhibition will be there till the end of November. So if your in the neighbourhood of the harbour of Valencia, don’t miss it because it’s a great exhibition with lots of works to discover.


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