Madelon Hooykaas talking about her work and her collaborations with Elsa Stansfield.

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The exhibition:’Revealing The Invisible:
The Art of Stansfield / Hooykaas From Different Perspectives
at Street Level Photoworks – 27th November 2010 – 30th January 2011
and at CCA Glasgow – 27th November 2010 – 29th January 2011

Madelon Hooykaas grew up in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Before leaving for Paris in 1964, she studied under various Dutch photographers. Madelon Hooykaas In 1966 she was awarded the Europhot Prize for young photographers, as the Netherlands representative, and she then left for England to work on the photo project Along the Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury, inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. She remained in England as visiting student at the Ealing School of Art & Design in London. Professionally what interested her was to make films and photography as vehicles for conceptual art and she made particular use of sequential photography. In Brussels she worked in a film laboratory and in Paris she was an assistant film production assistant before establishing herself as freelance photographer and film maker. In 1968 she was awarded a travel scholarship by the Netherlands Ministry of the Arts to spend a year in the United States. In New York she worked as assistant to the photographers Philip Halsman and Bert Stern and had lessons from Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz. In California a meeting with Alan Watts formed the start of her lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism. Back in the Netherlands, she moved to Amsterdam and started writing articles for the journal Foto, interviewing figures such as Robert Doisneau and Jacques Henri Lartigue. For a short while she worked as a portrait and fashion photographer, experimenting meanwhile with Polaroid photos in combination with texts; she also made silk screen prints in this period. In 1970 she left for Japan to interview a number of photographers and with the aim of experiencing life in a Zen cloister. She was the first European woman to get permission to stay in a traditional monastery to take photographs. In 1971 her photo book Zazen, was published, for which she and the Dutch poet Bert Schierbeek compiled the texts. The publication of this book greatly enhanced her reputation and English and German editions followed.1 Five years later another book appeared, Death Shadow, for which Hooykaas made the photos and Schierbeek wrote the poem.2 In 1972 Madelon Hooykaas held solo exhibitions of her Polaroid experiments in Il Diaframma in Milan, and The Photographer’s Gallery in London.3 Her work plays with space and time.4 Photo works by Madelon Hooykaas form part of the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou/Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris) and the University of Leiden. 1972 also marked the start of her intensive collaboration in the field of film with the Scottish artist Elsa Stansfield, alternately in London and Amsterdam. Their first film, Een van die dagen [One of Those Days] was broadcast on Dutch TV in 1973. Under the name Stansfield/Hooykaas the artist pair produced their first video installations from 1975 onwards and acquired fame as European video pioneers. During their thirty-two years partnership they produced a good hundred and fifty works. Their work deals with the relation between nature and spirituality and explores scientific principles and natural forces such as radio waves and magnetic fields. Hooykaas and Stansfield make use of contemporary technology such as film, audio and video in combination with organic materials such as sand, glass and copper. In their work they show that everything that exists is animated by movement and change. ------------------------------ More on