Willem Popelier: ____ and Willem
____ and Willem documents photographer Willem Popelier’s search for the creation of identity and representation, based on his own life experience, in a story about the youthful years of separated twins. Using an extensive, graphic family tree and photography, the narrative is systematically charted and developed. Portraits of individuals are created in the same detached manner as objects from the past, such as train tickets and the many keys to the twins’ various family homes. Each image is as neutral as possible a documentation of one of the underlying segments that play a role or give insight into the story. By way of his clear, dry photography, Populier steps back from the private history of ____ and Willem, creating a distance that is in turn brought back into perspective with original family photographs.
In this work, Willem Popelier investigates mankind’s image of himself, the question of what makes someone unique, how we see ourselves and how we want to be seen by others. He researches identity and how we perceive that identity, making use of photography in order to record the facts. By way of neutral portraits, he undertakes an attempt to focus attention on the individual.