Profile

 

Biography:

Bas Losekoot is a Dutch artist and photographer, concerned with socio-cultural issues in cities around the world. With an intuitive eye, he visualizes the human experience in modern megacities. Working with cinematographic apparatus, he is challenging our understanding of reality in everyday city-life as well as the limited narrative potential of representations of truth in documentary photography.

Bas Losekoot holds a BA in Fine Art Photography from the Royal Academy of the Arts in The Hague and recently graduated for an MA in Photography and Urban Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. His project has been exhibited widely in galleries, museums and festivals including: BOZAR Brussels, Christie’s Amsterdam, Jimei x Arles in China, Kaunas Photography Gallery Lithuania, FotoIstanbul, LagosPhoto and Unseen Photo Fair Amsterdam, and published in a variety of international media including The New York Times LENS Blog, The New Yorker Photo Booth, CNN Editions, The Guardian, Die Zeit, NRC Handelsblad, IMA Magazine and the British Journal of Photography.

Artist Statement:

I photograph because I want to understand the human condition. The camera gives me the opportunity to enter unknown worlds and people’s lives. With an intuitive eye, Iaim to look behind the appearance of things and to tune into people’s thoughts. Curiosity is the motor of my work.

I’m fascinated by city life; I spend a lot of time on the street observing it. I always considered street-life a spectacle, a continuous stream of split-second encounters. A city is like a pressure cooker for human expression and development. I’m convinced that the street is a place to learn from, it can hold up a mirror to society. With my work I would like to create awareness, which can lead to a better understanding, which finally can cause change in complex social and cultural issues.

Since the beginning of the Urban Millennium, we are facing the biggest wave of urbanisation in human history. In this project I try to imagine the effects of large-scale development of megacities on human behaviour.

“It is decisive that city life has transformed the struggle with nature for livelihood into an inter-human struggle for gain, which here is not granted by nature but by other men”- George Simmel (1)

The metropolis life is the modern version of the fight of the primitive man against nature. Where we normally had to run for our lives we now have to run for our jobs. (2) We are not running for life-threatening danger but danger for exclusion. The struggle for survival remains the same. Because the ‘city animal’ didn’t get the time to adapt genetically to this modernity, we are experiencing high levels of stress. We are pretending to be civilized and are desperately struggling to match our instincts with the new situation, the densely populated mega-city.

The cities in my projects are in a constant state of ‘progress’. They are great meeting places of different cultures; true examples of the ‘zippers’ of the world. The people in my photographs are in transit. This project is about the accelerating mobility in the contemporary city, and how commuters navigate the public domain in the everyday life. That’s why I position myself in the liminal spaces (3) of the city. This in-between-ness is representing the current blasé-attitude of global city dwellers.

Based on the dramaturgical approach of Ervin Goffman (4), I consider the street, a stage where we, the actors, are performing with the city as decor. In daily life we are performing social roles and we wear the appropriate mask for that. While commuting the city we drop this mask and replace it for another one, the mask of ‘self-protection’. I’m interested in this mask, because I believe this it gives us a lot of information of the self and the construction of identity.It as a mask of ‘non-engagement’ as well: modern city life gets us over-stimulated, and we detach from space and reality.

The anonymity of the man in the crowd (5) is an important part of the metropolitan experience. I often refer to the feeling in my images as ‘being alone together’.“One nowhere feels as lonely and lost as in the metropolitan crowd”. The feeling of isolation can be more intense when a stranger without relations in proximity of others, like at a party or in traffic in a large city, than being physically alone in an empty place. There are unwritten social rules which provide each individual with a certain space and freedom, as long as we leave the others alone. Within certain boundaries, it is allowed to watch and observe, to look at something in public that is actually private. We observe the stranger (6) in the public areas of the city, where we are alone in the crowd and, in company of strangers.

Selected Press:

The Guardian : Prizewinning images of Africa, from grasshoppers to street life
The New York Times LENS Blog : Telling Complex Truths, by James Estrin
The New Yorker : Bas Losekoot’s New York Minute, by Ruby Goldberg
British Journal of Photography : artists shortlisted for CAP Prize, by Diane Smyth
NRC Handelsblad : Het universele masker van de stadsmens, by Tracy Metz
Der Greif : Guestroom by Azu Nwagbogu
CNN Editions : Life in an Urban Millennium, by Lyric Lewin
Stadsleven : Summer in the city, by Willemijn Oosterhof
British Journal of Photography : Wetransfer Wallpaper
Perspective Daily : Diese Stadt ist der Geheimtipp von Facebook und Google
Die ZEIT : Was die Augen gesehen haben
De Correspondent : Waarom theedrinken met terroristen niet slap, maar juist moedig en slim is, by Rutger Bregman
Life Framer Journal : Urbanization and the Spectacle of the street
Kiekie Tabloid : In Company of Strangers, by Denise Woerdman
PF Magazine : Groepsdieren of miljoenen individuen, by Naomi Heidinga
New Dawn Paper : In Company of Strangers, by May Putman Cramer
GUP Magazine : São Paulo and the Urban Millennium, by Peter-Bas Mensink
Cities the Magazine : The Urban Millennium Project, by Toha De Brant
IMA Magazine : New Approaches in Street Photography, by Yusuke Nakajima
Noorderlicht Festival : Data Rush, by Wim Melis
Photojournalism Now : In Company of Strangers, by Alison Stieven-Taylor

Curriculum Vitae

Education:
2014 – 2015: MA Photography and Urban Cultures,
Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2011 – Workshop by Alex Webb/Magnum, New York, USA
2008 – Workshop by Alessandra Sanguinetti/Magnum, Sevilla, Spain
2002 – 2003: Foundation Course Cinematography,
Dutch Film and Television Academy
1997 – 2001: BA Photography, Royal Academy of Fine Arts, the Hague, NL
1996 – 1997: Foundation Course Graphic Design, Graphic Lyceum, Amsterdam, NL

Exhibitions: (S) Solo Show – (G) Group Show

2017: Lagos Photo Nigeria, Curator: Azu Nwagbogu.
Regimes of Truth (G) Familiar Strangers

2017: Christies’s Amsterdam the Netherlands.
Yip Art (young in prison) (G) London in the Urban Millennium

2017: United Photo Industry, Brooklyn, New York, Curator: Tanya Houghton
Cartographies (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2017: APT Gallery, Urban Photo Fest, London, UK
Charting the Invisible (G) Cartography of Mobilities

2017: London Festival of Architecture, Curator: Stefano Carnelli
Urban Memories (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2017: Kunsthal 45, Public Space, Den Helder, NL, Curator: Jan Theun van Rees
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2017: Officine Fotografiche, Rome, Italy
Life Framer Award “an Instant”(G)New York in the Urban Millennium

2017: Fotofestival Naarden, the Netherlands. Curator: Eduard Planting
Familiar Strangers (G) Lagos in the Urban Millennium

2017: RPS Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
Life Framer Award “an Instant”(G) New York in the Urban Millennium

2017: SBK KNSM-Laan, Amsterdam/the Netherlands
In Company of Strangers (S) Urban Millennium Project

2017: Villa Pérochon Photographic Art Centre, Niort, France. Curator: Patrick Delat
In Company of Strangers (S) Urban Millennium Project

2017: ClampArt Gallery, New York City, USA
Life Framer Award “an Instant” (G) New York in the Urban Millennium

2017: Kaunas Photography Gallery, Lihuania. Curator: Gintaras Cesonis
In Company of Strangers (S) the Urban Millennium Project

2016: Jimei x Arles, Local Action, Xiamen, China. Curator: Chen Wei
In Company of Strangers (G) Hong Kong in the Urban Millennium

2016: Lewisham Arthouse, Urban Photo Fest, London, UK
Familiar Strangers (G) Hong Kong, London, Lagos in the Urban Millennium

2016: Photowerk Berlin, Streetprojections, Germany
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2016:FotoIstanbul, Turkey. Curator: Attila Durak
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2016: BOZAR, Center for Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium. Curator: Azu Nwagbogu
Familiar Strangers (G) Lagos in the Urban Millennium

2016:Seelevel Gallery, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Curator: Caroline O’Breen
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2015: Christies’s Amsterdam the Netherlands
Yip Art (young in prison) (G) New York in the Urban Millennium

2015: TATE Britain, Urban Photo Fest, London, UK
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2015: Truman Brewery, Drift Exhibition, London, UK
In Company of Strangers (G) Londonthe Urban Millennium

2015: UNSEEN Photo Fair, Gallery 5&33, Amsterdam, NL
Found Reality (G) Amsterdam Project

2015: Noorderlicht Photofestival Groningen, NL
Data Rush (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2015: Voies Off, Les Rencontres d’Arles, France
In Company of Strangers (G) the Urban Millennium Project

2014: Gallery L’Abat-Jour, Lyon, France
Encounters, Projections (G) Boeroes

2014: Pluk de Nacht Film Festival Utrecht, NL
In Company of Strangers (S) Seoul in the Urban Millennium

2014: Amsterdam Stadsarchief, the Netherlands
ONDERTUSSEN(G) De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer

2013: Felix Merits, Amsterdam, NL
ONDERTUSSEN(G) De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer

2013: Gallery Bart, Amsterdam, NL
ONDERTUSSEN(G) De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer

2013: Photo Ville Brooklyn, New York, USA. Curator: Sam Barzilay
In Company of Strangers (G) New York in the Urban Millennium

2013: Photo Festival Naarden, Grote Kerk Naarden Vesting, NL. Curator: Feiko Koster
In Company of Strangers (S) New York and Seoul in the Urban Millennium

2013: Focus Photography Festival Mumbai, India. Curator Matthieu Foss
In Company of Strangers (G) Mumbai in the Urban Millennium

2013: Vriend van Bavink Gallery, Photohal Amsterdam, NL
In Company of Strangers (S) New York and São Paulo in the Urban Millennium

2012: Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, NL. Curator: Jonas Staal
Politiek Kunstbezit (G) Portrait Ayaan Hirsi Ali

2012: The London Festival of Photography, UK
In Company of Strangers (S) New York and São Paulo in the Urban Millennium

2012: Lakma, GRIDPhoto Biennale Amersfoort, NL
In Company of Strangers (S) São Paulo in the Urban Millennium

2012: Central City Library Amsterdam, NL
Brasil Festival (S) São Paulo in the Urban Millennium

2011: New York Photo Festival, New York, USA
In Company of Strangers (S) New York in the Urban Millennium

Awards:
2018: Athens Photo Festival – Shortlist
2017: Contemporary African Photography Prize – Shortlist
2017: Athens Photo Festival – Shortlist
2017: Life Framer – Honourable Mention ‘Six Continents’
2016: Life Framer – Winner ‘An Instant’
2016: Grand Prix Voies Off – Honourable Mention
2015: Grand Prix Voies Off – Shortlist
2014: Format Festival – Shortlist
2012: La Chispa Photo Award – Winner
2012: Dutch Doc Award – Longlist
2011: Zilveren Camera Award – 3d Price, category foreign documentary
2011: Leica Scavenger Hunt, New York Photo Festival – Winner
2010: Holland’s Diep Photography Award – 2nd Price
2007: Scherpenzeel Award – Honourable Mention, documentary photo stories
2003: PANL Best of Members Award – Winner
2003: Epson Young Talent Award – Winner
2000: PANL Awards – nomination student category
2000: Zilveren Camera Award – nomination category sports

Grants:
2014: The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Developing Grant
project: In Company of Strangers – the Urban Millennium Project
2013: The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, Project Grant
Project: ONDERTUSSEN, De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer

Book:
2013: ONDERTUSSEN, De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer.
In collaboration with Artists Erwin van Amstel en Niels Stomps,
Design by Marcel de Vries and Sabine Verschueren. Text by Marieke Kitzen
ISBN: 978-90-9028022-6

Essays:
2017: “Away from home”, engaging One-way Street of Walter Benjamin
2016: Urban Photo Fest Open: Essay “The moment before we knew each other”
2015: “The Cinematic”, Dissertation MA Photography and Urban Cultures/Goldsmiths
2012: By the glow of the jukebox: the Americans List, initiated Jason Eskanazi
Essay on image nr 19/Canal Street, the Americans by Robert Frank

Articles/Interviews:
2018: The Guardian, Prizewinning images from Africa
“From Grasshoppers to Streetlife”
2018: VPRO Nooit Meer Slapen Radio NPO 1, Open Kaart, by Pieter van der Wielen
2018: British Journal of Photography, artists shortlisted for CAP Prize, Diane Smyth
2017: The New York Times LENS Blog, Telling Complex Truths, by James Estrin
2017: British Journal of Photography, LagosPhoto, by Diane Smyth
2017: Elephant Art, Preview LagosPhoto, by Emily Steer
2017: Internazionale, La Verita della fotografia
2017: Die Zeit, LagosPhoto, Was die Augen gesehen haben
2017: Goldlink, Alumni Magazine, by Paul Halliday
2017: Londen Independent Photography Magazine
“How we see urban spaces”, Chris Moxey
2017: Foto Magazin Edition, Portfolio: Der Mensch in der Mega-City, Manfred Zollner
2017: NRC handelsblad, Alone in the Crowd, interview by Tracy Metz
2017: Stadsleven, Summer in the city, by Willemijn Oosterhof
2017: Focus, Photoswap, by Jannie de Kruijff
2017: PF magazine, Groepsdieren of miljoenen individuen, by Naomi Heidinga
2017: Kiekie Tabloid, In Company of Strangers, interview by Denise Woerdman
2017: Der Greif, Guestroom, selected by Azu Nwagbogu
2017: Kauna Deina, Distance of the eye, Interview by Aine Jacyte
2017: My Liveable City, Being Private in Public Places, by Shyam Khandekar
2017: Réponses Photo Magazine, Portfolio and Interview by Julien Bolle
2016: Gezginfoto, Private lives in Public Places, by Nihan Özgen
2016: Life Framer Journal,
Urbanization and the Spectacle of the Street, by Amaury Guillais
2016: British Journal of Photography Wetransfer Wallpaper
2016: Learning From Delhi, Delhi, a visual spectacle, by Sanne Vanderkaaij Gandhi
2016: Réponses Photo Magazine, Les Emergences de Photographiques de Vois Off
2015: New Dawn Paper, In Company of Strangers, Interview by May Putman Cramer
2014: CNN Editions, Life in an Urban Millennium, Interview by Lyric Lewin
2014: International Street Photographer Magazine,
Exclusive Portfolios, by Jim Denton
2014: IMA Magazine Japan, New Approaches in Street Photography,
by Yusuke Nakajima
2013: The New Yorker, Bas Losekoot’s New York Minute,
Interview by Ruby Goldberg
2013: Volkskrant, Listed best Photo Books of 2013, by Merel Bem
2013: Parool, The Canals part of a Metropolis, by Mark Looman
2013: UNESCO World Heritage Newsletter,
Ondertussen at the Canals, Michiel van Iersel
2013: De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer, Nico Mulder/IAmsterdam
2013: Learning From Mumbai, A new Light on Mumbai, by Sanne Vanderkaaij Gandhi
2013: Cities the Magazine, The Urban Millennium Project,
Interview by Toha de Brandt
2013: VARA Radio, The Urban Millennium Project, Interview by Flip Bool
2013: Fotografie Magazine, The extraordinary out of the Ordinary,
Interview by Diana Bokje
2013: Photo Digital- Life in a pressure cooker, Interview by Judith Houben
2013: Parool, Surprising vision on city life, by Mark Looman
2012: PhotoQ, São Paulo in the Urban Millennium, by Han Schoonhoven
2011: GUP Magazine, São Paulo in the Urban Millennium, by Peter-Bas Mensink

Lectures:
2018: Photographers Gallery London, Cities of Light Symposium
2018: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Fotokroniek, Private Lives in Public Places

2013 – 2019: Various Photo Associations in the Netherlands,
The Urban Millennium Project

2016: Three Shadows Gallery, Xiamen China, PechaKucha Night
2016: Pakhuis de Zwijger, De Donkere Kamer, Pitch
2016: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Discover India, Mumbai
2015: Crossing Lines, Goldsmiths Unversity of London, UK
London Independent Photography and Centre of Urban Community Research,
2014: C-Platform, Xiamen, China, the Urban Millennium Project

2013: UNESCO World Heritage Stage, Amsterdam City Archives
Ondertussen, De Prins, de Keizer en de Heer in conversation with Michiel van Iersel/Non Fiction

2012: VERS/Association of Dutch film and television makers at Ketelhuis, Amsterdam, NL,
The Urban Millennium Project, Lighting in Photography and Cinema
Together with DOP’s Guido van Gennep and Bert Pot

Teaching/Curating/Reviewing/Jury
2018: Perspective Sint Laurenskerk Alkmaar – Jury Member
2018: Urban Photo Race – Jury Member
2018: LUCA School of Arts, Belgium – Visiting Professor
2017: Lagos Photo, National Geographic African Photography Prize – Jurymember
2017: LUCA School of Arts, Belgium – Exam Committee Masterprojects
2015: Fotofestival Naarden, NL – Portfolio Reviewer
2015: Fotofestival Naarden, NL – Board of jury/Guest Curator
2008 – 2009: Artiance/Centre for Visual Arts, Alkmaar, NL – Photography Course

Sales:
2006 – 2019: Private Collectors, various works sold as a result of exhibitions
2017: SBK Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2016: Christie’s Amsterdam, NL, works sold by premier auction house
2010: Kahmann Gallery, Amsterdam, NL
2006: Sotheby’s, Groninger Museum, NL, works sold by premier auction house

 

Artist Statement References:
1 Simmel, G. (1950) The Metropolis and Mental Life, in: Woolff, K. H. (ed.)(1950)The Sociology of Georg Simmel,p.420. New York: The Free Press.
2 Morris, D. (1969) The Human Zoo.New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company
3 Augé, M (1995) Non-Places, an introduction to supermodernity. London: Verso
4 Goffman, E. (1959) The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. New York: Penguin
5 Poe, E. A. (1840) The man of the Crowd, in: Edgar Allan Poe:Selected Tales(2008) p.84-91, Oxford: Oxford University Press
6 Simmel, G. (1950) The Stranger, in: Woolff, K. H. (ed.)(1950)The Sociology of Georg Simmel,p.402-408, New York: The Free Press.