Sjoerd Knibbeler
The work of Sjoerd Knibbeler (1981) focuses on visualising invisible natural phenomena such as the wind, air movement and climatological conditions. Knibbeler creates a world that follows his own logic, where associative relationships and imagination play a key part. He is inspired by subjects such as flying, aeroplanes, aerodynamics and climatology.

The exhibition at Foam 3h, Digging Up Clouds, brings together various projects by Knibbeler related to with these themes. In addition to photos from the Current Studies series, several spatial works are presented, such as the Paper Planes series. A video of a stunt pilot concentrating on preparing for a practice flight is also included in the exhibition.

Knibbeler’s work could be defined as 'constructed photography' – the construction of all sorts of self-imagined and created objects takes place mostly in the studio. There he simulates wind, clouds or a tornado, and he experiments with fragile constructions in a variety of materials such as plastic, paper and fibreboard (MDF). Before he starts building and experimenting, however, he acts as a researcher, visiting different locations and consulting with specialists in the fields of science, aviation and architecture.

Knibbeler uses photography as a means of depicting his ideas, but everything he photographs is real. Questions about authenticity and the tension that his images evoke intrigue him, just as the way in which the camera is able to reveal processes that wouldn’t be noticed otherwise. Knibbeler makes use of the materials he works with and the conditions he depicts to investigate the relationship between the static, two-dimensional character of photography and the moving, voluminous objects he makes.

One of the projects Knibbeler presents is Paper Planes, a photo series of sixteen paper aeroplanes that he folded – based on aeroplane designs that have never been put into production or have never been in the air. He found the designs, some of which even date back eighty years, on internet. While at first they may present an image of failure or appear outdated, at the same time they represent an image of the future. Their existence is maintained through the internet, where they fly through virtual space and are shared and discussed by enthusiasts.

The book Paper Planes, designed by Hans Gremmen and published by Fw: Books, is presented at the opening of the exhibition.

Sjoerd Knibbeler studied at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, and is represented by Galerie LhGWR in The Hague. His work was on show at this gallery during the Unseen Photo Fair in 2014. This year Sjoerd Knibbeler won the prestigious Grand Prix du Jury Photographie at the 30th International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France.

This exhibition has been made possible by the Van Bijleveltstichting.

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

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Sjoerd Knibbeler