Edwin Zwakman

Edwin Zwakman - Vane

Edwin Zwakman, The Kitchen

Edwin Zwakman fabricates images of reality that destabilise and subtly shift our perspective. He painstakingly constructs meticulous models of contemporary Dutch cityscapes and landscapes that are then translated into photography.

Zwakman follows the tradition of the trompe l’oeil effect and juxtaposes this with an engaged dialogue that addresses the lineage of Dutch painting from Vermeer onward. He assembles every image like a painter, controlling the composition, light, perspective and minute detail. Architecture permeates his works, re-presenting utopian Modernist ideals of a better future and bringing a social context into negotiation.

The Kitchen is an intricate maquette that recreates the typical utilitarian white Formica present in almost all social housing in The Netherlands. Set up solely for the video camera, the small model interior is permanently installed in the artist’s studio. Zwakman has heightened the confusion between the real and the artificial still further by installing the model in such a manner that its backdrop is in fact reality – the changing light of the sky throughout the day, shifting clouds, the lights switching on and off in office buildings. Zwakman streams this image via the internet to the exhibition space in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Through linking one city to the other, Zwakman directly undermines our conventional notions of time and space. He presents his viewer with a fragment of a hyper-real and familiar place that ultimately reveals itself as a totally artificial world.