4/10/2013 - 6/10/2013
Olive & Cookie Lab Space
Weekender presents photographer: Yamandú Roos
Yamandú Roos about the exhibition:
"Europeans is a set of 15 journeys through the whole continent of Europe looking for something, creating a time document as a side effect. After many years of taking photographs followed by an ongoing editing process, I felt that it was time to share another installment of my experiences on the road. Europeans work in progress offers a playful snapshot of a larger body of work."
Friday 4th 2013 October
Opening 5pm – 10pm
Olive & Cookie Lab Space
Interview with Yamandu
By Mirjam van Ansem
For photographer YAMANDU ROOS (1978, Amsterdam) intuition is a key word.
Roos graduated the Royal Academy of Art in 2003. We meet in his cosy
apartment/studio. While the coffee is running through, Roos and his assistant
are busy preparing for the WEEKENDER exhibition. Subject is his 'Europeans
Work in Progress'. We talk about art school, traveling, courgettes and letting
To create 'Europeans Work in Progress' Roos traveled through 40 European
countries between 2005 and 2012. Except for Russia and Iceland he traveled with
his red car, called The Eagle. Roos mostly traveled alone, discovering that he did
less shooting when his friends were around during a trip:
"I was less productive, because less happened. I needed to be alone."
You like being alone?
"Sometimes I do, but sometimes I don't. Sometimes it is lonely. But it is a good way
to get to know yourself."
What did you discover?
"That it is really nice to travel alone. I discovered Europe."
And about yourself as a photographer?
"Well, mostly I discovered that working without purpose is so important for me. That
it may cause something really special. Well, yeah, you become wiser, you are going
to embrace life."
You did not embrace life before?
"Yes, but even more now. You just grow wiser."
How did you work during the European project? You arrived somewhere, you woke
up, and then?
That differed a lot. Depending on where I woke up and how. Sometimes I was with
people and sometimes I was alone. Sometimes there where people I knew and I
made new friends as well.
You always had your camera with you?
"Yes, that's the thing: on the one hand I was hanging around aimlessly, but at the
same time I was sharp and at work. So I had my camera with me all the time, always
ready to capture something."
What is it that you shoot one thing and not the other thing?
"Again: intuition. Inexplicable."
And by selecting the images, you also work by intuition?
"Until now the selection is done by intuition and with the criterium of what I think is
beautiful. But I am going to make a book and therefore I let Angela Lidderdale do the
selecting. She is a creative, a good editor."
Later on Roos tells about his difficulties about letting go:
"Another important element of my work is trying to work with people that have a
specific talent, who can strengthen my work. So trusting people… It is really difficult
to let things go. That is one of my biggest challenges. Giving people the
responsibility to create something beautiful out of my work. To delegate. I'd rather
pick my own courgettes than let someone else pick it for me, so to say. I know best
what courgette looks better. But that is really a difficult thing for me. Explaining to
someone else how to pick the best courgettes."
What role is your education playing in your work as a photographer now?
"While attending art school you need to think academic. Teachers expect you to
work within certain frameworks with certain concepts. During my study, I worked that
way too. But now I try to avoid it as much as I can. I try to work as much by intuition
as possible, by giving myself a lot of freedom and work without purpose."
How do you mean without purpose?
"If you work without a goal, than you give yourself a lot of space to let things arise. If
you work with a certain goal, than you focus so much on the end result, that you
might not notice the beautiful things around it. Or you may not allow for other things
What inspired you during your time at the academy?
Well you learn a lot at art school of course, but it is after school when the real work
starts. Actually, at school you are infected by teachers and lecturers, so you have to
disinfect afterwards. The teachers are artists. And they have their own vision and
perception that they impose on you without even noticing.
Did nobody inspire you at art school?
No. No one. There was a teacher that helped me during my final examination, he
pushed me and that derived something. I am grateful for that, but it was not
someone who inspired me.
Who does inspire you?
"One of my greatest sources of inspiration is Take Shikitano. And also Robert
What appeals to you in Franks work?
"He is really clear in what he wants and thinks, and doesn't give a shit about the rest.
What I found very special about him, is that he's not a one trick pony. (..) He made
The Americans, than he went filming and after that he did a sort of 'cut and paste'
photography. (..) What I found very cool about him, is that he never lingered
somewhere. He kept renewing himself.
Will you do the same?
I can't say that, I am too young to say something about that. I think [with 'Europeans
Work in Progress', red.] I did a mature project and now I have to create something
out of it, which I find very difficult. So that is very exciting. Then we will see.
Why did you became a photographer?
Because I like it. I don't know better.