next previous

UMBRA, 8 March 2014 - 1 June 2014

Sassen has made a new series of works that focus on the play of light and shadow that is so characteristic of her work. Sassen supplements this series with previously unseen images from her archives. UMBRA (Latin for shadow) is presented as one large spatial installation.

UMBRA presents Sassen’s autonomous work in a kaleidoscopic exhibition in which shadow is often a metaphor for the human psyche. Anxiety and desires, and also imagination and illusion, intrigue and stimulate the spectator. The experience is reinforced by the creation of light-dark contrasts in space, where she makes use of video projections and mirrors to generate effects similar to those in her photos. With UMBRA, the Nederlands Fotomuseum explicitly wishes to provide scope for artistic experiment within photography, and to promote new angles of approach when investigating the shifting boundaries of documentary images.

Viviane Sassen is a fashion and autonomous photographer, and first became known through her enthralling colour photos in which form and content balance of the edge of abstraction. In these photographs, effusive colours play a role equal in significance to that of the deep shadows that occasionally give mysterious contours to existing forms. The human figure, the body and the pose are major classical-artistic themes in her work. However, her play with realism and abstraction, which confuses our perception and leaves meanings open, is very modern. Sassen compels us to reflect on the realistic character of photography, which emphasizes the spectacular and poetic aspects of her work.

Nederlands Fotomuseum Opening hours
Wilhelminakade 332 Tuesday to Friday, 10.00 to 17.00
3072 AR Rotterdam Saturday and Sunday, 11.00 to 17.00

For a year now, the Nederlands Fotomuseum has directed time and effort to cultural entrepreneurship. In times in which subsidies from local and national authorities are becoming less self-evident, we must explore new paths to find a way to maintain our core activities. Entering into inventive collaborations is one of the policy spearheads. In realizing UMBRA, the museum has entered into an exceptional sponsor-driven relationship for the commission, the exhibition and the book of the same name. After the exhibition, the Nederlands Fotomuseum will receive the UMBRA series on long-term loan.

The photobook UMBRA, with texts by author and poet Maria Barnas, will be published to accompany the exhibition of Viviane Sassen’s work. This book will be presented during FOTOGASTEN on 3 April 2014.

From 20.00 to 22.00 on Thursday 3 April, the Nederlands Fotomuseum will present the second episode of FOTOGASTEN, which is a full-evening programme with interviews and picture fragments for which Viviane Sassen’s UMBRA forms the point of departure.

Tickets for FOTOGASTEN
FOTOGASTEN will be held in the auditorium of LantarenVenster Theatre, Otto Reuchlinweg 996, 3072 MD Rotterdam. This location is situated just behind the Nederlands Fotomuseum on the Wilhelminapier.
Admission costs € 15. Tickets sales take place via the online ticket service of Lantaren Venster:

With thanks to: Wertheimer Fund | Ministry of Education, Culture and Science | Municipality of Rotterdam | BankGiro Lottery | OVG | Port of Rotterdam |
Exceptional thanks must be given to the sponsor of the commission, exhibition and the book of the same name.

UMBRA, 8 March 2014 - 1 June 2014
Nederlands Fotomuseum
Rotterdam, the Netherlands