Paul Kooiker (b. 1964) is not interested in creating the perfect photographic image. The value of his work lies not in his individual photographs (which are sometimes overexposed, blurred by camera movement or grainy), but in what he does with them postproduction – the subsequent process of selection and manipulation. In the initial phase of his creative process he is a deliberately ‘bad’ photographer, producing a mass of exploratory material that often runs to hundreds of images. He then approaches this material as a visual artist, creating ‘collections’ in the form of three-dimensional installations and photo books. These fictive collections look as if they have been found somewhere or have turned up in some ancient suitcase abandoned for decades in an attic. To ensure their credibility, Kooiker pays meticulous attention to internal consistency of form and style. This stands in sharp contrast to the contents of his series, which are often enigmatic and vaguely disturbing.
This publication coincided with the solo exhibition NUDE ANIMAL CIGAR at The Hague Museum of Photography, October 18, 2014 – January 18, 2015