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Newsletter Date: 14-10-2011
Ken Schles - Oculus
Exhibition / 
October 22
December 11

New collaboration between Noorderlicht and Ken Schles

Photographic grandmaster Ken Schles is returning to Noorderlicht. From 22 October through 11 December the Noorderlicht Photogallery is presenting his latest project, Oculus. It is an exhibition about the relation between images, memory and the metaphor of light. Simultaneously Noorderlicht will be publishing the book Oculus, a moving follow-up to his acclaimed 2009 release, A New History of Photography

We infuse the world we encounter with meaning, with social and symbolic significance based on the value we place upon representations we share. This, perhaps, is the irony of our conceptualizations: We make and share images so that we may know the world. But what exactly is the nature of our image representations? And what are the implications of using the metaphor of the image to signify, codify and describe a dynamic and ephemeral world?

Spurred on by private upheavals to reappraise the connections we have to images and memory, Ken Schles takes you with Oculus on a personal philosophic journey that points beyond the shadow-play of images. It is a meditation on the nature of perception and existence in the grey light of this world.


© Ken Schles

You are welcome to attend the opening of the exhibition. The opening will take place on Friday, 21 October, at 5:00 p.m., with the American photographer Ed Kashi as the speaker.
Ed Kashi is one of the six photographers working on the Noorderlicht project The Sweet and Sour Story of Sugar.

October 22 through December 11
Wednesday - Sunday, 12 - 6 p.m.
Noorderlicht Photogallery
Akerkhof 12, Groningen
Free admission


Eva Gjaltema

Eva Gjaltema (b. 1979) looks back on her childhood in Stadskanaal, after 12 years of living in the Randstad. This exhibition is the result of the 2010 Post Middendorp Commission, which had CRISIS! as its theme.

At the time she had been unable to recognise the deprived social-economic conditions which the region had experienced for generations, and which still characterised the years when she was in primary school in the 1980s, because she then had no basis for making a comparison.

With the present economic crisis as her jumping-off point, Eva went in search of similarities with the recession of the 1980s. She investigates the region's identity, beginning with her own recollections and those of her classmates, with whom she again sought contact. In particular, she follows the life of her former classmate Jan Kruize, who still lives in the area with his family.


© Eva Gjaltema

On Friday, 28 October, at 5:00 p.m. the exhibition will be opened in the Noorderlicht Gallery by Piet de Vey Mestdagh, member of the Provincial Executive Council handling cultural affairs. The photographer will also be present.

October 22 through December 11
Wednesday - Sunday, 12 - 6 p.m.
Noorderlicht Photogallery
Akerkhof 12, Groningen
Free admission


Book about images, memory and the metaphor of light

Ken Schles (US, b. 1960) made his name in 1990 with the influential and now classic photo book Invisible City. His books are discribed as 'intellectual milestones in photography' (Süddeutsche Zeitung); 'hellishly briliant' (The New Yorker) and 'a rare gem' (1000 Words Photography). Oculus is the latest addition to his briliant oevre.

Oculus is an original project that redefines the personal photographic essay; this is a book that looks deeply at the metaphors we make. Schles trains his eye (and his pen) on an inward analysis, focusing on the connection between images, perception and memory. With cogent prose and beautiful images, Ken Schles embarks on a compelling and personal exploration. Indeed, in this, perhaps his most seductive work to date, he is seeking to describe the source of awareness itself. 

The book has 96 pages with fullcolour images and a hardcover. Price: EUR 39,50, size 22x31 cm. ISBN/EAN 978-90-76703-45-9. Oculus is for sale in our webshop.


Metropolis - City Life in the Urban Age


Some satellites continue their exhibition after the closing date of the Photofestival. You can still visit these exhibitions:

City Groningen

Province Groningen

Satellite programme

Photos: Andris Kozlovskis (Veendam) and Robert Mulder (Bourtange)

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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