VEN~Lidwien van de – Rotterdam, sensitive times. *
Author: Gad, Nicolaus Schafhausen, Sven Lütticken, Monika Szewczyk~Amira Publisher: Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art Rotterdam Year: 2012 Artist: VEN~Lidwien van de ISBN: 978-90-73362-99-4 Hardcover, text in English and Dutch, 168 pp., ill. 49 colour and 6 b/w, as new
Lidwien van de Ven's 'Rotterdam , Sensitive Times' is the fourth publication in a series of portraits, in book form, of the city of Rotterdam, that Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art has been producing in collaboration with artists who are particularly concerned with photographic medium. (About Witte de With's Rotterdam series). Lidwien van de Ven is an artist who works in a realm parallel to the world of photo-journalism. In this politically inquisitive publication, Van de Ven chose to reverse the city-specific mandate of the project and approaches it by taking Rotterdam as a microcosm of global developments at the intersection of politics and religions, where her journey has rather taken her outside of the city borders. Beginning with the highly polarizing murders of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn and the subsequent murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh's events which have contributed to the rise of an internationally-networked right-wing populist movement whose polarizing effects on Rotterdam and the Netherlands reverberate internationally in the aftermath of 9/11 she travelled to places such as Antwerp, Berlin, New York and Oslo to trace the resonances of the ensuing social struggle and political opportunism. The resulting photographs cast a meditative view onto a world where sensitivity to what is visible and what is invisible is continually mediated by political forces.
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