WEEKENDER #14 - YamandĂș Roos

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."

On Facebook

Friday 4th 2013 October
Opening 5pm – 10pm
Olive & Cookie Lab Space 
Saenredamstraat 65



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

to happen."

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.


Share this