Referencing the expulsion from the Garden of Eden the works of Henri van Noordenburg focus on overlaying a European aesthetic on the physical and intellectual landscape. Starting with self-portraits set amid a featureless black background, van Noordenburg slowly and meticulously hand-etches the photographic surface.
van Noordenburg describes the process of self-nude photography as an “incredible mix between strength and weakness, frustration and containment – a feeling of euphoria and adrenaline.” Feelings, which mirror van Noordenburg’s attempts to assimilate within a dominant foreign culture, where minority groups are often treated like second-class citizens. The central figure’s way back to the Garden, his continual search for belonging, is impeded by social and political frustration.
Featured image: Henri van Noordenburg, Composition XXVII, ink on paper hand carved, 17.5 cm x 17.5 cm framed, 2013