Juul Hondius


The large color photographs in Juul Hondius’s show “Faction” evoked topics in the news: illegal immigrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and civil war. At a time when winning entries for the World Press Photo competition are carefully composed and highly aesthetic, no matter how gruesome the subject matter, Hondius’s glossy depictions of politically charged scenes can trigger a flash of (mis-)recognition. UN/Defender, 2000, shows a man in a white cape leaning in apparent exhaustion and despair against a Land Rover Defender in a muddy field. Although the scene has been staged in Holland, the word Bosnia seems to be written all over it. The fact that the man looks a bit too well groomed only underlines the image’s seductive power. If the man’s gesture is rhetorical, this is precisely the visual rhetoric of grief and despair—rooted in classical Western painting—that the media exploit.

Some works

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