Fotograf Magazine

Edwin Zwakman

Fiction more real than reality

The Dutch artist Edwin Zwakman, a graduate of the Akademie van Beeldende Kunsten Rotterdam (1993) and the Rijksakademie Amsterdam (1997), was born in The Hague in 1969. He is often labeled as the follower of conceptualist photographers such as Cindy Sherman or Jeff Wall. Yet an increasingly marked affinity with Zwakman’s activities can also be traced in the work of the internationally renowned American artist of the older generation, David Levinthal (born 1949), or in that of a Hungarian photographer of the middle generation, Dezsö Szabó (born 1967). They also capture artificially created environmental structures, yet operate on an altogether different thematic level. In his photograpic cycles Mein Kampf or Hitler Moves East, Levinthal reactivates collective historical memory of the Euro-Atlantic civilization; the photographs in the series Baseball or Desire are a commentary on the opulent excess of this civilization. Szabó reconstructs and visualizes in his art projects Black Box, Tornado and Expedition the catastrophic scenarios of massmedia agencies. An element common to the work of the aforementioned artists share is their easy sense of the interchangeability of fiction and reality. In their attitude we may observe a creative approach which is present at all stages of the perception and transformation of reality into a technical image. As in their photographs, however, we could find the very same element – that of the artificial construct – anywhere in the country that Edwin Zwakman comes from.

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#9 Architecture

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