Awoiska van der Molen makes her work at the periphery
of anonymous cities.
She mainly works in the darkness of the night, when her senses are not being disturbed by the influences of the daily hectic urban environment. While walking through the night her working field is divorced from this ballast.
When van der Molen stands still to photograph, she has arrived at a place which, to her, is entirely autonomous. Far from the madding crowd. Separated in time and space for the duration of the exposure. A place that does not need to become, a place that is. A place that is there already.
A place caught unaware by the photographer, who herself is only able to stumble onto such places because she too is unprotected, solitary and silent as ‘her’ places themselves.
In the images of Van der Molen, there is no doubt that we are getting a direct look at the world. Yet, at the same time, the doubt, longing, and quest of the photographer to be gone from this world are entering into our view. Not a flight to an earlier, or a consciously chosen world blindness, but an obstinate exercise in letting go, relating, and maintaining. An absent presence, a present absence.
— Erik Eelbode
Light, wind, clouds, and glowing plastic billowing from scaffolding create moving, breathing temporary structures that seem to have life of their own.
A series of fantastical architectural and environmental curiosities found across the former USSR—photos which speak to these areas' unsteady mixture between authoritarian power, deep-set poverty and bursts of monumental extravagance.