Nick Hannes

24Jul/170

Dubai in De Standaard

Publication in De Standaard, July 19, 2017:

20170719-DS-031-DN-019-OOGG

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24Jul/17Off

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Signed books and prints can be ordered by email.
PRINTS
My photographs are available in two different sizes:
50x75cm: limited editions of 10 copies. Reference prize: 600 euro
80x120cm: limited editions of 5 copies. Reference prize: 1150 euro

Prices excl. 6% VAT
Prints are made by Milo-Profi (Kontich, Belgium), on Epson baryta Photo Rag 315g.
Delivered with certificate of authenticity.

Please contact me for more details.

Nicosia, Cyprus, 2010

Nicosia, Cyprus, 2010

BOOKS
Book 'Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man', Hannibal Publishers, Veurne, 2014, 198 pages, 22x29cm hard cover, text by Michael De Cock, (English-Dutch): 35 euro

Book 'Red Journey', Lannoo Publishers, Tielt, 2009, 144 pages, 23x29cm, hard cover, text by Jelle Brandt Corstius and Nick Hannes (English-Dutch). Discount price: 20 euro

'Red Journey', limited edition of 20: book + 23x29cm archival lambdaprint 'Tiraspol, Transnistria, 2008': 150 EURO

Tiraspol, Transnistria, 2008

Tiraspol, Transnistria, 2008

Book 'Tradities', Davidsfonds, Leuven, 2010, 175 pages, 19x24cm, soft cover, text in Dutch: 25 euro

Book 'Vroeger is een ander land / Mon hier est ailleurs', Nadaar Editions, Brussels, 2011, 264 pages, text in French and Dutch, hard cover: 10 euro

boek

Books can be signed on request. Prices do not include shipping costs. Contact me to arrange local pickup or delivery.

18Jul/170

Magnum Photography Award

My series 'Dubai. Bread and circuses' was awarded the Lensculture/Magnum Photography Award in the Documentary categorie. Hope this will help me in finding a good book editor and a nice exhibition space to release it in 2018...

MagnumAward

An interview by Fiona MacDonald was published today on BBC Culture.

BBC

Striking photos of the ultimate playground for millionaires

“Dubai is both fascinating and controversial. It has fans and critics. I don’t like to decide what viewers should think when looking at my work; they should fill in the story according to their own visions and knowledge.” Photographer Nick Hannes’s series Bread and Circuses ‘showcases Dubai as the ultimate playground of globalisation and capitalism’ – but he’s not offering any kind of judgement. Instead, his images are ambiguous, and often witty, glimpses of a lifestyle that can seem alien to many.

“The rapid transformation of Dubai from a dusty fishing town in the ‘60s to the ultramodern metropolis of today fascinates both supporters and critics,” Hannes writes in the project description; many of his photos almost force a double take, poking at the surface to show a different angle.

“Ninety per cent of the population of Dubai are expats,” Hannes told BBC Culture. “Within this extremely heterogeneous group I decided to focus primarily on the upper middle class – the wealthier segment of society. I went to the places the members in this group go to have fun: nightclubs, beaches, theme parks, hotels, malls.” With its artificial islands and buildings replicating world landmarks, Dubai can be seen as a kind of theme park for the wealthy: but Hannes looked beyond fast cars and couture logos.

“A very important source of inspiration for the Dubai series is The Capsular Civilisation, a book by Belgian philosopher Lieven De Cauter. It also provided a theoretical framework,” he says, explaining that De Cauter “imagines an extreme dual society: the first world is an archipelago of shielded islands or ‘capsules’, where it’s pleasant to live; the second world is all the rest: an ocean of chaos and poverty.”

He sees parallels in his latest project. “The process of urbanisation in Dubai strikingly resembles the phenomenon of capsularisation as defined by De Cauter. On a local scale, there is the segregation between the expats and the migrant workers. On a global level, the United Arab Emirates can be considered as one big ‘capsule’, a safe haven in the unstable Middle East.”

Yet again he is keen to point out his photos don’t adhere to any definitive viewpoint. “I have no monopoly on truth, and therefore it’s not my intention to give answers. I’d rather raise questions about sustainability, inequality, the economisation of society, authenticity, greed. I hope this will lead to self-reflection.”

Many of his photos appear like odd tableaux, their subjects lost in some kind of reverie. “Lots of these places seem surreal and dreamlike, as if it all happens in a parallel world where everybody is happy. However, when you take a closer look, there’s a lot of ambiguity in my work.”

Hannes visited Dubai in 2016 and 2017. “As I got used to this new environment, I found everyday life rather predictable and conventional. There’s a lot of things to do, from skiing to desert safaris; but I missed spontaneity and surprise in the modern part of the city. For a walk I much more enjoy Deira, the historic centre of Dubai, where mostly Asian and African communities live.”

He was inspired to document Dubai after an earlier project. “Working on my latest book Mediterranean: The Continuity of Man, I started to get interested in artificial urban development and its impact on society,” he says, drawn to the tension between tourism and environmental protection. “For my next project I wanted to dive deeper into this subject—my curiosity drove me to Dubai, a very famous example of excessive and market-driven urbanisation.”

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14Jul/170

Don’t take pictures

My photograph Aralsk, Kazakhstan, 2007 is picture of the day at Don't take pictures.donttakepictures

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14Jul/170

Thisispaper

Thisispaper published a portfolio of my first book, 'Red Journey', published in 2009 by Lannoo Belgium.

I spent a year travelling through the fifteen former Soviet republics in search of traces of the past and signs of social transition. Red Journey uncovers the various ways in which former Soviet countries are trying to redefine their national identity after the disintegration of the communist imperium.

The book 'Red Journey' is still available at the discount prize of 20 euro + shipping cost. Just send me a email at nick_hannes@skynet.be

thisispaper

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15Jun/170

WIRED

Wired published a portfolio on my Dubai-work.
Wired

THE MAD OPULENCE OF DUBAI, FROM WATER VILLAS TO FAKE FORESTS

The wealthy never run out of ways to amuse themselves in Dubai, where you can party aboard a house floating in a man-made sea, stroll through an indoor rainforest, or kick back in an ice lounge where the temperature never climbs above freezing. In a city where everyone is rich, shopping malls resemble the Silk Road and the theme parks make Disneyland look small.
Nick Hannes takes you on a whirlwind tour of the emirate's carefully engineered attractions in his ongoing series Dubai: Bread and Circuses. “Dubai positions itself as a leading tourist and luxury lifestyle destination,” he says. “By this enormous supply of leisure activities, the emirate expresses the idea that everything is possible in Dubai, that the sky is the limit.”
Despite occasionally blinding sandstorms and triple-digit temperatures, Dubai is bent on becoming the Orlando of the Middle East. Some 15 million people visited the emirate last year, a number expected to reach 20 million by 2020. Developers are building attractions at breakneck speed to lure ever more people. "The hunger for new projects is unstoppable in Dubai,” Hannes says. “If they have 20 theme parks it doesn’t mean they will stop building theme parks. As long as they have space they will keep on constructing.”
Hannes enjoys photographing tourism in places like Turkey and Spain, and always found Dubai fascinating. He made his first visit in 2015 and has returned three times since then to wander the emirate's theme parks and malls (where visitors can shoot zombies, ski indoors, and dive with sharks) and visit its most opulent nightclubs. "It’s a conservative Islamic society on one hand, but 90 percent of the people are expats, a lot of westerners, and of course they have a more liberal lifestyle that is often completely the opposite of the locals," Hannes says.
Everything looks like it came from somewhere else. Ibn Battuta Mall, designed to resemble a trek along the Silk Road during the middle ages, features ornate Tunisian, Persian and Chinese ‘courts.' The Green Planet brings an artificial rain forest to the desert. “They import a lot of foreign architectural styles, some from the ancient past, and make up new things with it,” Hannes says. “It’s copy-paste architecture—beautiful, but completely fake."
Hannes' images might depict gilded relaxation and luxury, but he never got the chance to relax. He was too busy working. Dubai isn't exactly his idea of a vacation anyway. “I go to cities to photograph and to learn about society, but these are not the places where I enjoy myself,” he says.
(text: Laura Mallonee, 06.13.2017)

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14Jun/170

Organ Vida – Zaghreb

As a finalist of the Organ Vida Photo Festival in Croatia, my series 'Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man' will be presented at the main exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zaghreb. The 9 other finalists are: Miia Autio, John Feely, Daniel Castro Garcia, Ingvar Kenne, Annalisa Natali Murri, Drew Nikonowicz, Sarah Pabst, Alexandra Polina and Hannes Wiedemann. The jury members were: Pieter Hugo, Dana Lixenberg, Christina de Middel, Katrin Koenning, Leila Topić and Sean O’Hagan. The festival runs from September 6 to 20 2017.organcroatia

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14Jun/170

Musee de la Photographie de Bruxelles

Vincen Beeckman invited an impressive list of mostly young photographers to participate in the 'Brussels Museum of Photography'. Each photographer presents his work in a beautifully designed wooden box, that can be opened by the public. The event takes place on June 29 at Recyclart art center, Ursulinenstraat 25, 1000 Brussel.
On July 13, the Museum will move to Culturel Center Breughel (Vossenstraat 1F, 1000 Brussels). And on August 3, it will take place at the tunnel of the Fonteinstraat in Brussels.
fotomuseumBXL

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13Jun/170

Biennale de photographie en Condroz

From August 5 to 27 2017, I will present a preview of my new project 'DUBAI. Bread & Circuses' at the 8ième Biennale de photographie en Condroz. The central theme this time is: Rever / Dreaming. My exhibition will be shown the farm of the Seron family, in a cowshed. Curated by Emmanuel D'Autreppe and Pierre Mossoux. Other participants to the biennale are: Didier Bizet (F), Anne-Sophie Costenoble (B), Alexandre Christiaens (B), Sian Davey (GB), Alexandra Demenkova (RUS/ISR), Jean-François Flamey (B), Karel Fonteyne (B), Anne Greuzat (F), Marc Guillaume (B), Xavier Istasse (B), LaKabane (B), Baudoin Lotin (B), Marie Moroni (F), Paul Nougé (B), Jacqueline Roberts (F).

(c)Jacqueline Roberts, Menina, 2008

(c)Jacqueline Roberts, Menina, 2008

From the website:
Nick Hannes (Belgique) vit à Ranst, un village près d’Anvers, la ville qui l’a vu naître en 1974. Nick Hannes enseigne la photographie à l’école d’Arts de Gand et mène des projets à long terme qui font l’objet de grandes expositions et de livres. Le dernier, Mediterranean, The Continuity of Man, est paru à l’automne 2014 aux éditions Hannibal : vingt pays traversés, des milliers de kilomètres au long des rivages de la Méditerranée, de Gibraltar à Beyrouth, de Tripoli à Palerme... Pendant quatre ans, le photographe a effectué un grand tour pour découvrir la destinée de celle que les Romains surnommaient Mare Nostrum. Infiltré dans les cocktails monégasques ou les nuits branchées d’Ibiza, témoin du sort des migrants échoués sur l’île de Lampedusa ou des gamins pieds nus dans la poussière de Gaza, il dresse le portrait sans complaisance d’une Grande Bleue malmenée, chahutée mais toujours magnifique, diverse et plus vivante que jamais.
Lauréat de nombreux prix de photojournalisme, Nick Hannes est représenté par l’agence Cosmos. Après avoir déjà montré, il y a quelques éditions, des extraits de son travail sur les républiques d’ex-Union soviétique, Nick Hannes a réservé à l’édition 2017 de la Biennale quelques images de son travail, à peine achevé, sur Dubaï et les Emirats arabes unis : série à la fois plasticienne, citoyenne et documentaire, qui pose avec vertige et parfois jusqu’à l’absurde certains des enjeux les plus prégnants et les plus déstabilisants de la mondialisation, du choc des cultures, ou de l’avenir durable de nos modes de vie…

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13Jun/170

Fotoroom

The online photography platform Fotoroom published an interview with me on my new project 'DUBAI. Bread & Circuses'. Click here.
fotoroom

The interview:
Hello Nick, thank you for this interview. What are your main interests as a photographer?

As a documentary photographer I mainly do self-initiated projects, often with a social or political relevance. Main points of interest are: migration, urbanization, environmental issues, the impact of conflicts on society. In my work I’m looking for links between these contemporary topics, confronting parallel realities with each other. I try to detach from the moment and from the news value of an event in order to create more universal imagery that deals with the problematic relationship we have with each other, with our environment and with our world in general.

Please introduce us to your series, Dubai.

In a nutshell: the rapid transformation of Dubai from a regional trade post in the 1960s to the ultramodern metropolis it is today is a fascinating case study in market-driven urbanization. The entertainment and leisure industry, one of the main pillars of Dubai’s economy, has a great impact on the city's development. Related topics such as tourism, consumerism, prestige and luxury, also play an important role.

What inspired this project? Why did you decide to make work in Dubai?

Working on my latest book Mediterranean. The Continuity of Man, I started to get interested in artificial urban development and its impact on society. In countries such as Spain or Turkey, mass tourism is a major catalyst for coastal urbanization, and puts great pressure on natural landscapes and local communities. For my next project I wanted to dive deeper into this subject—my curiosity drove me to Dubai, a very famous example of excessive urbanization.

As an outsider, what are some of the things that impressed you the most about the city of Dubai and the local lifestyle?

The very first sight of Dubai’s skyline is overwhelming, regardless of any judgement you might have about the place. But as I got used to this new environment, I found everyday life rather predictable and conventional. There’s a lot of things to do, from skiing to desert safaris; but I missed spontaneity and surprise in the modern part of the city.

For a walk I much more enjoy Deira, the historic centre of the city, where mostly Asian and African communities live. This area, full of bazars and hectic streetlife, feels like another country. The mix of people—locals, expats and tourists—from all over the world is striking, and gives a cosmopolitan feel to Dubai.

Can you talk a bit about your approach to the work? What did you want your images to communicate?

90% of the population of Dubai are expats. Within this extremely heterogeneous group I decided to focus primarily on the upper middle class—the wealthier segment of society. I went to the places the members in this group go to have fun: nightclubs, beaches, theme parks, hotels, malls. Lots of these places seem surreal and dreamlike, as if it all happens in a parallel world where everybody is happy. However, when you take a closer look, there’s a lot of ambiguity in my work. If I would explain this into detail, I’d destroy my pictures.

Did you have any specific references or sources of inspiration in mind while working on Dubai?

The Capsular Civilisation, a book by Belgian philosopher Lieven De Cauter, has been a great source of inspiration to me, and also provided a theoretical framework for this documentary project. De Cauter analyzes the increasing trend of separation and exclusion in our globalized society. He imagines an extreme dual society: the first world is an archipelago of shielded islands or ‘capsules’, where it’s pleasant to live; the second world is all the rest: an ocean of chaos and poverty. In a capsular society, public space becomes privatized; capsular architecture—such as gated communities and malls—simulates public space on private ground. The new urbanity is characterized by artificial inner spaces.

The process of urbanization in Dubai strikingly resembles the phenomenon of capsularization as defined by De Cauter. On a local scale, there is the segregation between the inhabitants/expats and the migrant workers. On a global level, the United Arab Emirates can be considered as one big ‘capsule’, a safe haven in the unstable Middle East.

How do you hope viewers react to Dubai, ideally?

Dubai is both fascinating and controversial. It has fans and critics. I don’t like to decide what viewers should think when looking at my work; they should fill in the story according to their own visions and knowledge. I have no monopoly on truth, and therefore it’s not my intention to give answers. I’d rather raise questions, about sustainability, inequality, the economization of society, authenticity, greed. I hope this will lead to self-reflection.

What have been the main influences on your photography?

As a student I was highly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson and the older generation of black and white documentary photographers. His legacy (the decisive moment, well-balanced compositions, etc.) still plays a role in my photography. I also feel a great affinity with film-maker Jacques Tati, when it comes to composition and the use of humor.

Who are some of your favorite contemporary photographers?

Mitch Epstein, Simon Norfolk, Alec Soth, Nadav Kander, Carl De Keyzer, Evgenia Arbugaeva, Trent Parke.

Choose your #threewordsforphotography.

Urban. Society. Tragicomedy.

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