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Newsletter Date: 12-01-2012
Announcement theme Noorderlicht 2012
Noorderlicht International Photofestival / 
2 September 2012
7 October 2012

Landscape as the illusion of nature

Start call for proposals!

The main topic of the Noorderlicht International Photofestival 2012 will be landscape as the illusion of nature. Starting today, photographers can submit their work. Suggestions by curators are also welcome. The deadline is March 16.

Landscape as the illusion of nature

Mankind arose from the land, and has now definitively left it behind him. The earth has been subdued and cultivated, man has left the countryside for the city. The preservation of our natural environment is but a footnote on the political agenda.

Nevertheless, the desire for contact with nature remains anchored in our genes. The urge to travel toward an unknown horizon is stubborn. Knowing that the realisation of this desire is an illusion, that every horizon lies within our grasp and every experience of the landscape is stage-managed, in no way detracts from this.

The main exhibition of Noorderlicht 2012 examines our ambiguous relation with nature. Where reality proves recalcitrant, the imagination of the artist dissolves the boundaries. The photographer/auteur can appropriate the landscape to share his or her – and at the same time, our – dreams, and permit us to travel in an unreal world for a moment.

Submitting work

Submissions and suggestions by photographers and curators are welcome. Through 16 March these can be sent to the curator Wim Melis, via ftp or by email to

Guidelines for submissions >>

Museum Willem van Haren, Museum Belvedere

• meditative nature, a projection of the psyche;
• the orchestrated landscape, interventions in reality;
• digital-imaginary nature, where algorithms open up a non-existent world;
• the leisure landscape, a look at the cultivated experience of nature;
• mythic and nurturing nature, an expression of connections with traditions;
• the sustainable landscape, protection of what still remains;
• the guilty landscape, hidden stories behind the outward beauty.
As these examples indicate, Noorderlicht is looking for photography with a narrative or metaphorical character. In other words: not purely aesthetic photography devoted solely to recording the beauty of the landscape.

The 2012 Noorderlicht Photofestival will take place in the Frisian landscape, in interior spaces and outdoor areas. The central theme location is Museum Belvédère (Heerenveen/Oranjewoud), supplemented by Museum Dr8888 (Drachten) and the Willem van Haren Museum (Heerenveen). These new locations bring with them a challenge to find new exhibition forms and have in part inspired our selection of this theme.

Musical extravaganza in Noorderlicht Photogallery

Friday January 13

Against the backdrop of the surrealistic landscapes in the exhibition Constructed Myths, Noorderlicht is organizing an afternoon musical extravaganza on Friday, 13 January, as part of Eurosonic Noorderslag.

Yuri Landman, who constructs experimental electronic musical instruments, will be presenting a demonstration of some of his instruments, together with G.W. Sok, formerly the vocalist of The Ex, and others. Among those for whom Yuri has made instruments are Placebo, Sonic Youth, the Veils and dEUS. 

Prior to this performance Noorderlicht is presenting the film The Everlasting Option, with G.W. Sok in the leading role.


© Yuri Landman

3.30 p.m.: Film The Everlasting Option
4 p.m.: Performance Yuri Landman

Noorderlicht Photogallery
Akerkhof 12, Groningen
Friday 13 January, 3.30 - 5.00 p.m.
Free admission

Forthcoming in the Noorderlicht Photogallery

Exhibitions in 2012

18 February - 1 April
Cruel and Unusual

Drawing on the work of different photographers, Cruel and Unusual illuminates various aspects of the prison system and the ways it has been depicted in photography: social justice, crime and punishment, the boundaries of liberty.

The exhibition is a project of guest curators Hester Keijser and Pete Brook, with photography by Alyse Emdur, Amy Elkins, Christiane Feser, Natalie Mohadjer, Deborah Luster, Yana Payusova and others.


26 May - 7 July 
OFFSIDE - Football in Exile

A multimedia project by Dirk-Jan Visser about FK Qarabag Agdam, a footballclub in exile from the disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan.

More information >>

© Alyse Emdur

Press inquiries:

Noorderlicht Photofestival, Photogallery, Projects, Publisher
T +31 (0) 50 318 2227 F +31 (0) 50 318 2204
Address: Akerkhof 12, 9711 JB Groningen, NL

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