I see, I see, what you don’t see

It’s an old and a bit silly game children play in the Netherlands. The purpose is to describe something, so the others will have to guess what it is. But in a weird way, ‘I see, I see, what you don’t see’ describes exactly what we can learn from visiting Haute Photographie.

Photo’s by Ivo Hoogwerf, Text by Tamara Hoogwerf

We all love stories. Life would be less interesting without stories. Stories have the power to entertain, to inspire, to warn and to teach. 

The artists who exhibited at Haute Photographie (7-10 February 2019, Rotterdam) all told stories in their own way and they used photography as their medium to draw stories with light. They saw something we didn’t see. And now at Haute Photographie it was up to us as the audience to see what they had in mind. 

Some highlights of the fair were the works of Dutch artists Merel Schoneveld, Petrovsky & Ramone and Schilte & Portielje. 

Merel Schoneveld 

She captures real moments in people’s lives. These moments aren’t planned or staged, it’s just life as it happens. This makes us relate to her images. She says: “I walk the streets weekly for 8 to 10 hours, shooting approximately 1,000 photos.” This doesn’t mean that her photos are lucky shots. Her talent is to intuitively see a beautiful moment and capture it. 

Petrovsky & Ramone

Your first reaction to the work of Petra van Bennekum and Morena Westrik will definitely be: Pure elegance! Their combination of fashion, various landscapes, expressions and use of light create powerful images that makes you want to keep looking at it. 

Schilte & Portielje

Huub Schilte and Jacqueline Portielje create surreal, dreamy images in black and white. We can relate to the subject, for instance ballerinas, but the way they’re positioned, dressed and how their faces are covered, makes you feel as if you’re in a fantasy world.

A story isn’t just about the story itself. It tells a lot about the storyteller as well. The storyteller decides what’s important to hear, what you don’t hear and how you experience the story. 

The same goes for photographers. It’s the artist who decides what you see, what you don’t see and how you experience the image. Their work tells a lot about how they view the world and how they want us to see it. Can you see what they see?

Haute Photographie is a photography fair in Rotterdam with, as they call it, ‘the allure of a museum’. It exhibits the works of world-famous photographers and young, fresh talents.