These are some of the pictures I took at the Rijks Museum in 2014.
Taking pictures in spaces like this is for me a kind of pilgrimage (in the sense explained by Proust/Ruskin). Darkness and contrast are important (I want an effect which reveals the forces behind/through the image), as well as playing with the framework, which sometimes is shown & sometimes obliterated (as a parergon, in Derridean sense). I don't intend this as an academic, instructive exercise, quite on the contrary. I think the images should "speak" entirely by themselves (the truth is in their auras, and more than ever if the aura is lost). This is also an attempt to release the images from all the discursive networks that supposedly support them as officially sanctioned cultural artefacts (and if these networks were not official, my intention would be the same). The images should haunt us to the extent that we fail to name them, as dream impressions or memory failures.
The works photographed here include:
***Saint Vitus (Anonymous Ulm/1500, Fruitwood with Old Polychromy/58cm);
***Madonna of Humility [the Rijks' guide says that by being a monk and accordingly "exempt from the strict rules of the artist's guild in Florence," the Dominican was free to "develop a more personal style"] (Fra Angelico/1440, Tempera on Panel/74x52cm);
***The Massacre of the Innocents [might be seen as an allusion to the "slaughter" of the Dutch by the Spanish] (Cornelis Cornelisz van Haarlem/1590, Oil on Canvas/245x385cm); ***Portrait of the Three Brothers [the brothers were Catholic, as shows the crucifix; Keyser "was long considered the best portrait painter in Amsterdam until he was surpassed by Rembrandt, says the Rijks's guide] (Thomas de Keyser/1627, Oil on Panel/121x88cm); ***Self-Portrait [22 years old] (Rembrandt/1628, Oil on Panel/22x18cm);
***The Threatened Swan (Jan Asselun/1640-52, Oil on Canvas/144x171cm);
***The Corpses of the Witt Brothers ["murdered by a lynch mob in the Hague" after the Netherlands was attacked by France and England and "partisans of the House of Orange gained the upper hand," says the Rijks' guide] (attributed to Jan de Baen/1672x75, Oil on Canvas/69-56cm);
***The Floating Feather (Melchior D'Hondecoeter/1680, Oil on Canvas/159x144cm);