Chert is pleased to present the solo exhibition by Dutch artist Erik van der Weijde.
The project, titled “Der Baum”, departs from the newly published book of the same title, which presents a series of 44 photographs the artist has taken during the past few years in different places, in each of which a tree stands in front of a specific background.
Starting with the grave of Adolf Hitler’s parents in Leonding, the trees cover locations in Brasilia, São Paulo, Berlin, Kassel, München, Istanbul and many other sites, joining discourses related to history, contemporary crime news, simple curiosities or wholly unspectacular and unidentified places.
The tree then becomes the storyteller, the foundation for a narration completely independent from its nature.
Trees are often seen as a metaphor for wisdom, a symbol of knowledge, history and narration. The vast and variegated number of arguments treated in Van der Weijde’s photographs render impossible a unique and linear direction, ironically refuting this very idea. This also becomes apparent after looking into the background of the book, which takes direct inspiration from the book “Der Baum im Bilde der Landschaft”, a German photo book published in 1931 by K.R Langewiesche. This title was part of a series called “Der Eiserne Hammer” (The Iron Hammer), which aimed to provide cheap educational materials for the uneducated masses. The series carried the motto “Das Gute für Alle” (The Good for All).
Erik van der Weijde’s work brings to light non-spectacular and common images from our daily lives – the house we live in, the lamp illuminating the street, our touristic customs, family portraits and many other popular subjects. Through his accurate series of photographs, he traces a path between history, culture, education, cliché and everyday habits; thanks to the attention to small odd details that each of them hides behind, he is able to trace a link between distant entities.
His photographic work is accompanied by many different books and zines – self-published or in collaboration with renowned publishers – which in many cases draw attention to the element of repetition and continuousness in his photographic series, allowing the research to be fully presented through the publications.
Erik van der Weijde was born in Dordrecht, NL, 1977, and lives and works in Natal, BR. He graduated in 2003 from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, and completed a two-year residency program at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam in 2008. Recent solo exhibitions and projects include “foto.zines”, Table d’hôtes, Lyon; “Superquadra”, Tijuana (Vermelho Gallery), São Paulo; “This is not my Son”, Ten Haaf Projects, Amsterdam; “Siedlung”, Exile Projects, Berlin; “Superquadra”, Self Service Open Art, Stuttgart in 2009 and “Siedlung”, Foam photography museum Amsterdam, in 2008.
His new series “Superquadra” will soon be presented in its entirety in Artissima in Turin, (4–7 November 2010, with Chert, Berlin).
His publication projects include:
2010: “Rear Window”, Café Royal Books, London, ed. 100. “der Baum”, 4478zine Publications, ed.500. “SUPERQUADRA”, ROMA Publications, ed. 700.
2009: “foto.zine nr.3”, offset, 5 issues, ed. 300. “This is not my Son”, Rollo Press, Zurich, risograph, ed. 100. “Down the rabbit Hole 3”, zine for Kaugummi Books, ed. 100. “Albert Speer / Lamp Posts”, silkscreen on courant-paper, ed. 100. “Down the rabbit Hole 2”, zine for Kaugummi Books, ed. 100.
2008: “Down the rabbit Hole”, zine for Kaugummi Books, ed. 100. “Archivo”, bi-monthly photography journal, ‘Obersalzberg, Berchtesgaden’. “Siedlung”, Roma Publications, ed. 500.
2007: “THIRD REICH, PATINOIRE, CARAVANS, CHURCH HOUSES, NIEMEYER”, ed. 400.
2005: “foto.zine nr.1 #1 t/m #8”, offset, ed. 400.
2004: “praia” offset, ed. 500.
2003: “groene hilledijk”, photocopy, ed. 40.