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#33 The curator

Speaking: Julia van den Broek

This tile is a souvenir of the exhibition 'Family about the house'

As part of the national Photo Week in 2013 and at the request of Galerie Pennings, Julia van den Broek organized the exhibition Family about the house. It was a very special and playful exhibition with photos and installations made especially for this occasion, but also with the use of 'found' photos. It is rather unique that such an exhibition was on show in a photo gallery. Petra Cardinaal gave the artists permission to do whatever they wanted.

The national Photo Week was an initiative of the Nederlands Fotomuseum and Foam and took place for the first time from 20 to 29 September 2013. The theme was ‘Look! My Family’. All over the country there were numerous activities and exhibitions. It was intended that the Photo Week would grow into a national event such as the Book Week. But when the second edition (with the theme ‘Look! My happiness’) failed to receive a subsidy, the national initiative stopped.

For ‘Family about the house’ Petra chose a young photographer as curator, Julia van den Broek, with the request that she also be one of the exhibitors. Julia had an internship at Galerie Pennings in 2009. She was then in the third year of AKV|St. Joost. “Most students did an internship with a photographer, but I chose to do an internship at a gallery. That suited me better. I did all kinds of common work there, but I also went on a studio visit to photographers with Petra. That's how I got to know Paul Bogaers.”

Julia's Photo Museum presents: Family about the house. photo Julia van den Broek

Julia's method is experimental. She uses photography as a means, not as an end in itself. As a result, she is more a visual artist than a photographer. That also applies to the other exhibitors Julia chose for the exhibition. Photographers normally bring their work framed. Not the photographers of ‘Julia's Photo Museum’. They came to the gallery days in advance to build installations and make a wall arrangement. There was a lot of tinkering, but everything was finished just in time for the opening. “I knew some exhibitors from the academy, the others from a group exhibition that I participated in in the Amsterdam Center for Photography.”

Announcement of the exhibition in GUP 38 (2013), with a photo by Irene Cecile

Back in time

Julia created a homely atmosphere with furniture ‘from the past’. She made a selection of vintage furniture from the fifties, sixties and seventies from De Spot, a store for vintage design and furniture, also in Eindhoven. In addition, embroidery and old women's magazines referred to the domesticity - say craftiness - of the past. Music, of course LPs played on a pick-up, gave a completely different era: that of the hip, progressive teenager father (or mother) once was. The music appears to have stood the test of time just fine, while the women's magazines seem dated.

‘Family’ involves all kinds of associations, such as family portraits, family ties, the place of the individual within the family. The exhibitors set to work on this. This resulted in humorous projects as well as in personal, moving stories. Now the trick was to shape this all in an interesting way. This worked out very well with these exhibitors.

Family photos by Irene Cecile. photo Julia van den Broek