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Ella Reitsma.Snoep: Tell my story, please, and I will live forever (The Bakery)    Jan 25 - Mar 1, 2014

Habroptila wallacii, The invisible flightless rail, vernoemd naar Alfred Russel Wallace
Ella Reitsma Snoep
Habroptila wallacii, The invisible flightless rail, vernoemd naar Alfred Russel Wallace, 2011
 
  
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Ella Reitsma.Snoep
Tell my story, please, and I will live forever


In the Bakery, Annet Gelink Gallery proudly presents the first solo exhibition of journalist, art historian and photographer Ella Reitsma.Snoep. Based on her 2012 publication ‘Duizend en meer verhalen op sterk water’ (A thousand and more stories in formaldehyde), Reitsma.Snoep presents viewers with striking photographs of specimens, part of the collection of the former Zoological Museum Amsterdam (ZMA).

The dream of German-Dutch zoologist Max Weber (1852-1937), the ZMA was conceptualized as a‘show museum’displaying countless specimens found during expeditions to far-off, exotic places. However, the museum never fully functioned as a true museum and over time, due to budgetary and space constrictions, the museum lost ground bit by bit. Eventually, in 2011 the ZMA closed and its collection moved and was added to that of to the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden.

It is here that Reitsma.Snoep becomes part of the narrative. Reitsma.Snoep made her career as the art editor for Dutch magazine ‘Vrij Nederland’, amongst other things, yet ultimately considers herself a storyteller. She turned to photography, to document and tell the story of the ZMA collection before it was shipped off to Leiden.

The intriguing images she created, ask questions about the nature of life, but also about the possibilities of the medium of photography.

By making visible and committing to photographs that which no longer exists, Tell my story, please, and I will live forever forms a compelling testament to the duplicity of photography. The stark yet sumptuous photographs leave their interpretation up to the viewer. Moreover, Ella Reitsma.Snoep’s photographs give Weber’s fragile dream the ability to live on, a sentiment doubled and reflected in the wish to capture the beauty of life and nature through the stillness of taxidermy.

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