Bas Princen, ‘Car Beach’, 2001, Aperture Foundation

Car Beach is part of Princen's Artificial Arcadia series. In this series the artist is concerned with the ways in which people spend their leisure time in "landscapes" whose original purpose is completely different from how it is being utilized, and as the exhibition curators note, "at first glance, seem to offer no reason to do so." In Car Beach, we see a shallow lagoon that has developed near the harbor in Rotterdam due to an industrial land extension that has changed the water currents. As a result, the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute issues wind alerts for kite surfing via SMS messages. For this image Princen set out with his large-format field camera to capture sporting enthusiasts experiencing the landscape in a way that has nothing to do with its natural state or beauty.

Paper size: 15 3/4 x 19 1/4 in.

Series: Artificial Arcadia

Signature: Signed and numbered by the artist

About Bas Princen

Trained as an architect, Bas Princen takes clever photographs of the absurd, surprising ways in which urban development meets nature. With his keen understanding of how buildings are constructed and how the environment is altered in the process, Princen seeks out sites where the boundaries between the natural and man-made are obscured, as he explains: “I go out to find photographs [. . .] in which the artificial and the natural take each other’s forms and in which one is unable to see if things are being constructed or destroyed.” In his Valley (China) (2008), for example, he photographs high-rise apartments built at the edges of a rocky valley. Flush against the rock and with similar patterning on their façades, the buildings look like a continuation of the rock itself.

Dutch, b. 1975, based in Rotterdam, Netherlands