Essay by Willem Kramer.
Published by nai010 publishers
This first overview of the work of the promising young Dutch artist Jasper de Beijer finds him driven by a fascination with historic source materials. The colonial past, in which confrontations between worlds and cultures were pivotal, emerges in his 2004 photo series Outpost, which re-creates period photographs of the Dutch presence in Indonesia. The Devil Drives (2005) riffs on the experiences of a nineteenth-century explorer, and Cahutchu (2005) on a real tropical gold-rush-style town that grew from nothing to a city at the start of the twentieth century, driven by the massive international demand for rubber. The city of Cahutchu disappeared almost as quickly, swallowed back up by the jungle, but De Beijer has studied photographs, drawings, etchings and engravings documenting the clearing of the jungle and the building of grand estates, and created a tribute in a series of computer-generated scale models. De Beijer brings, very literally, a new dimension to his subjects, reincorporating them physically, and then taking their picture once more.
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