Color Recycling

photo collage
Click here to enlarge XXL (10,3 MB)
Concept:   Short version:
    - Photocollage consisting of 256 photos of colored objects grouped in 16 panels of different colors, each consisting of 16 photos.
    - Photos of objects in public space in the Netherlands.
    - Objects that are movable (i.e. no buildings, road signs anchored to the ground, etc.)
    Long version:
    This photo collage shows a selection of things and objects that are necessary and enriching for our everyday life and part of the infrastructure around us. Things like a pair of shoes, a bottle bank or a tram. Things that are movable, i.e. no buildings or, for example, traffic signs that are anchored to the ground or machines that are anchored to a wall. From matches to passenger planes, all of these things are on an equal footing here. People are (with one exception) not to be seen.
    And, they're things of a certain color. The collage is divided into 16 color panels. The colors of the individual panels are: white, yellow, yellow-orange, orange, light green, beige, pink, red, dark green, violet, brown, dark red, turquoise, light blue, dark blue and black.
    The color of the object must match one of these colors. However, the color tones can vary slightly within the panels. For the objects in the dark green or brown panel, the difference in color tint is quite clear. For better differentiation, the panels are isolated from each other by a narrow white dividing grid.
    No matter in which order you look at the individual color panels, whether from left to right, top to bottom or diagonally, they always form a color gradient. The colors were chosen accordingly for this principle.
    These objects were photographed in public spaces in the Netherlands: in Aalten, Alkmaar, Almelo, Almere, Amersfoort, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn, Arnhem, Breda, Delft, The Hague, Den Helder, Doetinchem, Dordrecht, Eindhoven, Enschede, Gouda, Groningen, Hengelo, 's-Hertogenbosch, Hoevelaken, IJmuiden, Katwijk aan Zee, Leiden, Lelystad, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam, Schiphol, Tilburg, Utrecht, Weesp, Winterswijk, Zaandam, Zandvoort aan Zee and Zwolle.
    Some objects seem to repeat themselves. The collage has 4 buses in total, but with different properties and functions: the bus in the yellow panel (third row, third photo) is an amphibious bus that can drive on land and swim on the water surface, the bus in the light green panel (second row, third photo) is a double-decker coach, the bus in the turquoise panel (third row, third photo) is a two-axle city bus, the bus in the light blue panel (fourth row, second photo) is a three-axle city bus, articulated and catenary.
    The title “Color Recycling” refers to a kind of recycling in the photographic sense in two ways. On the one hand, some objects that were actually thrown away or set aside to be picked up by the garbage collector get a use again by photographing them for this collage. Secondly, you can see the logo of the manufacturer or a company on many objects. Sometimes this is so direct that the photo, viewed in isolation, should no longer be understood as just surreptitious advertising, but quite obviously as advertising. All in all, however, I hope that the viewer does not see this as advertising, but merely as a property of the object whose primary role is to create a color effect on the viewer in interaction with other objects within the collage. In previous photo projects, I tried to avoid logos as much as possible when taking photos because I found them distracting and intrusive. Here, however, they are all very welcome, and their presence makes the identification of the objects more precise.
    Irrespective of the fact that the buildings in the background can certainly be assigned to a clearly identifiable place, the sum of the clues clearly indicates that the objects were photographed in the Netherlands: starting with cliché objects such as wooden shoes, cheese, a fish stall or cargo bikes and yellow license plates with black letters on vehicles to text in Dutch or the names of Dutch companies and cities on some objects. So this photo collage gives a certain overview of things and objects that were in use in the Netherlands from 2019-2023.
    What can be said about this period based on the selected objects? Looking at the vehicles in this collage you will see both vehicles with combustion engine and electric vehicles, so this is a time of transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies.
    Or, for example, the doormat in the red panel with the instruction to keep a distance of 1.5 m from each other (third row, first photo), the disinfectant dispenser in the dark blue panel (first row, third photo) and the protective masks in the white (second row, fourth photo) and pink ones Panel (fourth row, second photo). These are references to the Covid 19 pandemic that was spreading during this time.
    All well and good, but where is this one exception where people can be seen?
    (On the television screen, bottom right. (Click on “Click here to enlarge XXL (10,3 MB)”))