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Erwin Olaf

Barbara Staged, 2007

A stylish woman with her hair pinned up sits on a stool in a meticulously reconstructed 1960s interior. The photograph is part of the series Grief, in which Erwin Olaf (b. 1959) captures a highly aestheticized form of mourning. With his cool staging, Olaf raises the question of what kind of sufferin ... g lies hidden beneath the surface. Is beauty perhaps hidden in sorrow? He shoots women in a vulnerable situation, inspired by a picture book on the Kennedy dynasty. He was particularly fascinated by Jackie Kennedy, because of the assassination of her husband. Erwin Olaf wanted to capture the (fictional) moment between hearing bad news and the ensuing reaction. There is tension in the woman’s right leg: her cramped toes and bent posture is repeated twice in the three-part mirror. For the construction of the set, Erwin Olaf worked closely with set designer Floris Vos (1964-2019). Erwin Olaf attended the School for Journalism in Utrecht. After graduating in 1980, he initially focused on documentary photography but ultimately chose staged photography. Since then, he has become internationally known and has received numerous awards. Text: Renate Ketelaars, guide and museum host
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Erwin Olaf
Barbara Staged
Color photograph
100 x 178 cm (h x w)
Type of object
© S.A. den Hartog [Erwin Olaf]

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