A recurring theme in my photography is urban public space. This space is not only defined by buildings, architecture and infrastructure, but above all by the people who inhabit this space. My interest is first of all in these people; in their use of the city; in the functioning of public space; and in the (co-)habitation in an urban landscape.
Instead of focusing on standard architectural highlights or the typological clichés of public space – ‘the square’, ‘the marketplace’, ‘the park’ –, I focus on ‘people as infrastructure’. This is also the title of an essay by urbanist and sociologist AbdouMaliq Simone, who tries to shift our attention away from the typical ‘hard’ focus on urban development toward the infrastructural significance of fluid streams of people. Therefore, the human body and the movements of individuals and groups (spatial choreography) play an important role in my photographs. I pay attention to peoples’ poses, the shapes that bodies take through acts like walking, waiting and carrying. I let the movement of the city resonate in an image and turn it into a metaphor for the changeability and flexibility of these cities and their inhabitants.
During my first years as an artist I primarily did research in Europe. China followed in 2004 and since 2008 I have immersed myself in African cities.