Coming soon:


Between green deals and ideals

European Round Table for Industry.  Access granted: 11.10.2022

Click here to read the introductory essay. 
Click here to go to the crowdfunding campaign.

2022 - 2023

Polite Fictions

Behind the public face of diplomatic gifts 

Throughout history, the exchange of gifts has played a central role in the conduct of international relations. While the rules, traditions and culture of gifting evolve, it remains a universal ritual that often reveals deeper truths about what it means to be human.

Polite Fictions examines this gifting ritual in the diplomatic field, where gifts once had the power to initiate negotiations, ease tensions or send subtle messages. What role do gifts play in fostering international relations today? What messages do they carry? And what can they tell us about the relationship between two countries?

Intending to research the meaning and significance of diplomatic gifts, my camera was denied access by the authorities. The government of my home country the Netherlands and the European Commission refused me permission to take photographs, as such transparency has the potential to harm bilateral relations. Only in carefully controlled settings is it possible to see, photograph and interpret diplomatic gifts.

In contrasting that which is seen in the public eye and that which happens behind the scenes, I created new representations of the gifts and their fate. Stored away and concealed, they underline both the prudence and practicality of European diplomacy. Polite Fictions uncovers the paradoxes of diplomatic gift exchange and portrays a system of conflict avoidance and securing interests.


Installation views

Photographs: 100 x 75 cm, baryta fine art prints on dibond, black wooden floater frame. For the full series click here.
Documents and drawings: inktjet and laserjet prints 
Video: 6:26 min


Click here to see a few spreads. 
Click here to read the author’s note.

2020 - 2021

The best light is no light at all

Residency exhibition at Berlinskej Model in Prague

‘The best light is no light at all’ is a phrase taken from a luxury freeport’s advertising brochure highlighting total darkness as the best way to store fine art. Freeports lack light in various other ways too, however.

Luxury freeports are storage facilities for high value goods located in free trade zones. Their attractions are similar to those offered by offshore financial centers: security and confidentiality, not much scrutiny, the ability for owners to hide behind nominees and an array of tax advantages.

If you ship a work of art to a freeport, you don’t ship it to another country, you ship it to a space in between where it technically stays in transit. Therefore a number of regulatory mechanisms don’t apply, such as certain taxations. Investors store art at a freeport to let it sit there for a number of years accumulating value while benefitting from the deferral of duties and taxes. They are not investing in art as a social good, but as an asset.
Proponents argue that freeports are useful to simplify commercial operations, attract investment and promote trade. Critics highlight the lack of transparency, risks of illicit practices, and the increase in investment-driven speculation while the art remains unseen.

The project explores several themes. On the one hand, it aims to raise questions about the commodification of art and the value we assign to works of art. On the other, the project seeks to shed light on the offshore economy against a backdrop of revelations and global discussions on tax avoidance and, ultimately, the mechanisms of inequality.

During my residency in Prague, I used my studio as a fictional freeport, letting both my research and imagination guide me into creating glimpses of this no man’s land.

2021 - ongoing