BIOGRAPHY HANS VAN DER MEER
Born: Leimuiden, The Netherlands, 04-04-1955
Education: MTS voor Fotografie, The Hague 1973-1976
Rijksacademie voor Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam 1983-1986
2012 Publishes, together with YdocPublishing, THE NETHERLANDS – OFF THE SHELF where Van der Meer brings together his own photography and his fascination for vernacular photography for the first time. The book is launched at the homonymous exhibition at the National Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. Commissioned by Atlas Noord-Holland to make a series about the identity of seaside towns.
2011 Commissioned by the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant to write a monthly column called PUZZELING NETHERLANDS in which Van der Meer, in the same wry style as his photos, describes how the Netherlands as it is came to exist; the Netherlands with which everyone is familiar but have never seen like this before. Starts teaching documentary photography at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK).
2010 The Dutch Photo institute (Nfi) acquires HOLLANDSE VELDEN/DUTCH FIELDS where the negatives are high quality scanned and preserved. Commissioned by the Dutch magazine Hollands Diep to work with the Dutch journalist and writer Joris van Casteren on a monthly series DROOMSTEDEN / DREAM CITIES. Commissioned by SKOR (Dutch Foundation for Art and Public Domain) to work on TEN WAYS TO STAY DOWN INJURED for TERREINWINST. Commissioned by KesselsKramer to photograph an advertising campaign for Bushmills whiskey.
2009 His second daughter is born. Shows his retrospective exhibition WORK AND PLAY at Dutch Photo institute (Nfi) in Rotterdam. Starts to photograph the changing appearance of Dutch towns where, in recent decades, a huge amount was built.
2008 Shows a retrospective exhibition WORK AND PLAY at Camera Austria, Kunsthaus Graz. Exhibits EUROPEAN FIELDS The landscape of Lower League Football in several European cities such as Göteborg, Sweden at the Museum of World Culture, Florence, Italy at Brancolini Grimaldi and at the Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland. Commissioned by the Biennale Noord-Holland to photograph the overgrowth of Noord-Holland and by the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment to make a series about 50 years of National Buffer Zones.
2007 His first daughter is born. Publishes SHEEP COUNTING at Nieuw Amsterdam, a cardboard book for children. Has a monthly column DIEREN/ANIMALS, consisting of a text and photo, for the Dutch newspaper magazine NRC M.
2006 Publishes EUROPEAN FIELDS The landscape of Lower League Football (SteidlMACK, London 2006). 85 photographs in color of amateur-football in twenty-two different European countries. The paperback edition (21x29.7cm) is published in Dutch, English, French and German (Dutch paperback published by De Verbeeling Publishers). Hardback edition (26.7x38cm) in English.
The exhibition EUROPEAN FIELDS The landscape of Lower League Football is launched at the museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, including the commissioned video Campi di Calciatori by Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea. Later that year the series is exhibited at the Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt, Museo di Fotografia Contemporanea, Milan and the Timezone8 Gallery, Beijing.
2005 Travels through Europe to work on the book EUROPEAN FIELDS The landscape of Lower League Football. Publishes monthly ANIMALS, photo and text column, in NRC_M, the monthly magazine of NRC-Handelsblad.
2004 Commissioned by the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford to work in the Bradford area on amateur-football, this resulted in 16 photographs and a video (24 min.). The work was exhibited in the museum from January 28th 2005, together with HOLLANDSE VELDEN/DUTCH FIELDS and the video’s Flemish Fields and Saturday Afternoon-Sunday Morning.
2004 Invited by NRC-Handelsblad to travel through the countryside in The Netherlands during one month in summer. Everyday the column Achterland, a photograph and 200 words, are published on the last page of the newspaper. The book ACHTERLAND appeared in November 2004 (De Verbeelding Publishers, 36 c. photo’s and text).
2004 Commissioned by Silo Gallery in collaboration with Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto to work on amateur football in and around Porto. Campo de Futbol (24 min. video and photographs) is exhibited in Norteshopping during Euro-2004. HOLLANDSE VELDEN/DUTCH FIELDS and KEEPERS are exhibited in Centro Português de Fotografia at the same time.
2004 Invited by curator Martin Parr to participate at the French festival Les Rencontres d’Arles Photographie 2004 with HOLLANDSE VELDEN/DUTCH FIELDS, the video Flemish Fields and new commissioned work. Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication (CNAP) and Rencontres d'Arles 2004 to work on Foot on Stage, a project on amateur football in the Provence. Exhibited in July-September 2004 in Arles.
2003 Invited by Hertha Stiftung from Hertha BSC footballclub and International in Berlin to work on amateur football in Brandenburg. Exhibition and publication Grose Traume in Kurze Hosen, with Anne van Gelder, Julian Germain and Jorrit 't Hoen, in November 2003 in Berlin.
2003 Commissioned by the Amsterdam Art Foundation to make panorama photographs of Amsterdam street life. A special gift box designed by Erik Kessels with 8 panorama's in c-print, is produced in an edition of 100.
2002 Travels in September to USA, commissioned by Pieter van Huystee Film-production / Arts & Ex’s Foundation, to work on GO WEST YOUNG MAN. The large panorama’s of wide American landscapes with on distance a cowboy on a horse, were exhibited in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in the period May-July 2003, together with the launch of the documentary film GO WEST YOUNG MAN at the Filmmuseum Amsterdam. In March 2004 the work was shown at Colette in Paris.
2002 In June invited by KesselsKramer to photograph The other Final. He photographed the preparation, and the game between the two lowest countries on the Fifa-ranking, Montserrat and Bhutan. Johan Kramer and Matthijs de Jongh from KesselsKramer initiated the game to make a documentary film. The match was played in Bhutan on the same day as the final of the World Cup in Japan. The album THE OTHER FINAL (De Verbeelding Publishers, 2002) came out later that year.
2001 Selects photographs of goalkeepers from his archive, from the album KEEPERS (De Verbeelding publishers, 1999); 38 color photographs of goalkeepers, waiting in front of their goal in Dutch and Belgium landscapes.
Publishes a weekly photo column in De Volkskrant on recreational sports in The Netherlands.
2001 Was invited by Japan Fest to participate in the project European Eyes on Japan. He made a series of portraits from local people photographed on a distance, on different locations in the prefecture of Okayama. Exhibited in Okayama City in May 2002 and in Brugge, Belgium, during 2002, when Brugge was Cultural Capital of Europe.
2000 Founds the magazine Useful Photography, with Hans Aarsman, Claudie de Cleen, Julian Germain and Erik Kessels, Useful Photography #1 is launched.
1999-2000 Works, during the winter, on VLAAMSE VELDEN/FLEMISH FIELDS, commissioned by the foundation Holland-Belgium/Belgium-Holland. Starts using video next to photography. Observations of amateur-football in villages around Aalst, Belgium. The videofilm Flemish Fields was shown together with photographs at the exhibition in the Dutch Photo institute (Nfi) in Rotterdam and in St.Jan-hospital, Brugge during the Euro 2000 tournament
1999 Starts taking photographs of amateur football-games in Europe for the football-monthly JOHAN. Every month a double-spread photograph is published from a game in mostly lower divisions, which shows an overview of the football situation in the foreground and the local setting in the background.
1999 Visited China for the project City-bikes in Beijing. Photographs and a video-installation were presented in June 2000 at the Historical Museum Amsterdam. A year later the exhibition opened in Beijing (Forbidden City). A selection of Dutch and Chinese photographers were invited by the Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst and The Beijing People’s Organisation for Friendship with Foreign Countries for this project (a/o Hans Aarsman, Ari Versluis en Elly Uyttenbroek).
1999 In September Hans van der Meer was invited by Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto to take panorama-photographs of the city Porto. His images formed part of the exhibition ‘Rondom Porto’ in the Kunsthal in Rotterdam, March-April 2000. Porto and Rotterdam were both cultural capital cities in 2001, the exhibition presented was the city of Porto to the city of Rotterdam. In 2002 the photographs were shown at the Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto.
1999 Invited by the Fotofestival Naarden to photograph animals in Dutch landscapes. The photos were exhibited during the Fotofestival Naarden. A year later the series was published in DIERENLEVEN (De Verbeelding publishers, 2000, 8 colour photographs).
1996 Commissioned by the Academisch Ziekenhuis Groningen to photograph the city Groningen in color panoramas. The photos formed part of the album GRONINGEN VAN A TOT Z (Paradox, 1997).
1995-1998 Starts taking photographs of low division amateur-football games. He went out looking for football in its original form, as it had started more than hundred years ago: a piece of land, 22 players, and no spectators around the pitch, just a horse in the next meadow. The image is far away from the image we know from professional football. About the idea behind this project he says: ‘Football is a part of our culture and football fields form part of our landscape. There are proportionately more grounds in Holland then in any other country in the world. Even in the smallest municipality you will find at least one club. Taking photographs for my album HOLLANDSE VELDEN I visited over 350 locations all over the country. I was looking for those situations where I could make a combination of a field with players and an interesting landscape in the background. I needed the world outside the field to show literally that football is part of our culture.’
The first edition of the album HOLLANDSE VELDEN (De Verbeelding Publishers, 1998, 68 photographs in colour, text Jan Mulder) came out during the World Cup in France 1998. A second edition came out later that year, as the first was sold out in one month. The photographs were first exhibited during the World Cup in France 1998 at the Institut Néerlandais in Paris. In December 1998 the HOLLANDSE VELDEN exhibition was presented in the Nederlands Foto Instituut in Rotterdam. Then amongst other places in Kyoto National Museum (Japan, 2000), the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (2001), the Centro Português de Fotografia in Porto (2004) and during Les Rencontres d’Arles 2004. A third edition of HOLLANDSE VELDEN appeared in 2001 and in 2004 DUTCH FIELDS appeared, the English version of the album.
1994-1995 Works on a series panorama-photographs in black and white of Amsterdam traffic. The pictures of the sometimes hilarious situations in the inner city of Amsterdam were exhibited in 1995 during Fotofestival Naarden. Later that year they were shown in the Amsterdam Municipal Archive. Published book: AMSTERDAMS VERKEER/AMSTERDAM TRAFFIC. (De Verbeelding Publishers 2000, 32 black and white panoramas).
1991-1993 Taking photographs of workers from various production-factories in Holland. By putting the accent in his images on the body-language of the work now-a-days, the photographer shows that in a modern technological society the expression ‘labour’ lost a lot of it’s originally physical meaning. Over 80 of the black and white photographs were published in the album WERK (De Verbeelding Publishers, 1993).
1989 Stays three weeks at the world-famous ballet academy Agrippina Vaganova of Saint Petersburg, commissioned by the Holland Festival. He photographed the intensive education and master-classes at the 250 years old institute. The photographs were published in the album GRAND PAS CLASSIQUE (Fragment, 1989), together with the ones taken in the American School of Ballet in New York by Michaël Ferron.
1988 Publishes book with archival photographs of football; INTERLAND (Focus Publishers, 1988).
1984-1986 Takes photographs in streets of Budapest. The observations were published in the album QUIRK OF FATE (Bert Bakker, 1987, 50 photographs b&w). Exhibited in 1986 during the cultural festival ‘The Netherlands in Hungary’ in Budapest 1986. In 1987 the series won a price in the category Daily Life of World Press Photo.