Misha de Ridder
Misha de Ridder (Alkmaar, 1971) made photographs and films in the extraordinary light of the subarctic Norwegian north, getting close to the earth’s very heart.

At this latitude, only sparse vegetation grows on the dark, craggy mountains. A sojourn in this landscape transforms the earth into a tactile planet: palpable, tangible. De Ridder investigates the expressive qualities of this polar landscape and light, but his work also addresses climatic and ecological extremes. The rugged landscape, the cold and the darkness – or conversely, the lack thereof – leave you dependent on your own resources. De Ridder confronts us with the fragility of human existence in relation to nature.

Short-lived mass media sensations and the economic crisis shrink to insignificance when compared to the forces of nature. In northern Scandinavia the nomadic Sami people have an animistic view of the world: all places and things in nature possess a soul. To show their respect, they move through the wilderness in silence. Nature is our master and death our inescapable ending; recognising this existential vulnerability is a key to better understanding the meaning of our existence.

The backbone of the exhibition is formed by the video works Golden and Asgard: wall-size projections in the semi-darkness. Accompanying the video works are large-format photo prints and a few smaller works. De Ridder's book Abendsonne is also on display.

Golden (fragment 1:00 min.) © Misha de Ridder on Vimeo.

Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.

Misha de Ridder’s work can be seen as an effort to capture ephemeral phenomena in the natural landscape through photography and video. The experience of place is determined in part by geographical location and physical spatial characteristics. Changing phenomena like the weather, the seasons and the light, as well as the psychological and physical state of the viewer, influence observation. By searching for the absence of human intervention, by waiting for the climax of the temporary and by stretching the technical limits of his camera, De Ridder’s works become both exotic reportages and autonomous artificial worlds.

Misha de Ridder graduated from the Utrecht School of the Arts. Since then his work has been exhibited widely in venues such as the Museum of the City of New York, Photo España in Madrid, Layr Wuestenhagen Contemporary in Vienna, Galerie Juliètte Jongma and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

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Misha de Ridder