Following the undeniable success of her retrospective at the Institut Néerlandais of Paris in November 2010, we now have the chance to enjoy Kooi’s new project in Spain after a period of relative scarce production that, at the same time, exceptionally improved the quality of her new artworks.
The new images by Ellen Kooi have undergone a change, or rather an evolution, if we compare them to her latest “Borrowed Landscapes” exhibition at the PhotoEspaña ’09 Festival. On the one hand the smaller details both in composition and narrative pulse are characteristic of her work, as is a return to forest and water as scenarios that she always uses as main characters of the narrative. On the other hand, we discover new, uncommon elements in her work like high horizons or nonexistent horizons which enclose the composition and create an atmosphere lost in thought, tense, and claustrophobic.
We should not forget that works by Ellen Kooi unfold a harsh encounter between mankind and nature, between each person and their environment, a complex and troubled relationship that today we must rethink more than ever and that still has to be reinvented. Moreover, her images reflect peacefulness and a particular Nordic coldness, only apparent as below that mantle of quietness a number of intense sensations are hidden: restlessness, isolation, surprise, or fear.
Kooi’s photographic images are much more than just an individual expression -by an artist- but constitute a collective expression, a national spirit in which we see ourselves reflected despite not being Dutch.
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