The Horizon Helps Me Find the Right Question

Dutch artist Bruno van den Elshout was the brain behind NEW HORIZONS. He placed a custom-built camera on the roof of the Atlantic Hotel in Kijkduin, and spent a year photographing the horizon, once every hour. NEW HORIZONS provides the answer to Bruno’s question, ‘How can I make space and tranquillity visible and shareable?’ A selection of these photos will be projected onto a screen during ‘La Mer’ by Debussy, played by the Residentie Orkest on Saturday 14th of March.

Infinite and enduring
The theme of the concert on March the 14th is ‘Reflections’. Reflections in water, in the air; do you see what I see? Or do we see things differently? “This fits in perfectly with my work”, says Bruno enthusiastically. “The horizon helps me get to the right question. You can see everything in the horizon, it’s different every time. And you can say anything about the horizon, all the time. The horizon is infinite and enduring.”

Like a train
Bruno parents gave him a camera, and when he went to college, he got a public transport season ticket. And that’s when he started to take photographs, of trains at first, and later on of other things too. “In France, where I lived for a while, there are fewer trains, and distances are longer. I took photographs there of mountains, villages, churches, and other local things. “The great thing about photography”, says Bruno “is that you look at the world around you more intensely. All my projects are exercises in consciousness-raising.”

Look more favourably
Bruno: “A lot of things people make are really quite ugly. They might look nice at first glance, but that’s an illusion. Actually, there’s nothing nice about it. It’s like those Burger King hamburgers, Whoppers. I can really look forward to having one. The first bite is tasty, the second less so, and by the time you’ve eaten half of it, it’s just yuck; not exactly sustainable.” Bruno continues: “I believe, however, that you can look at things more ‘favourably’. I think if you look with care and an open mind, things start to look better the more you see them.”

Artist Bruno van den Elshout (born 1979, The Hague) designs original and quirky art and research projects that stimulate encounters between people, ideas and worlds. One example is when he spent a year travelling through all 27 member states of the European Union to interview 2700 young people about their everyday lives. He is currently working on his forthcoming book based on his project Whatever the Weather (144 self-portraits taken by people with whom he spent an entire day on the Zuiderstrand beach in The Hague).

Take a look at Bruno’s projects on his website:

 Mark Kalsbeek