Henrik Spohler
Henrik Spohler
For his latest project, Henrik Spohler travelled to the Netherlands in 2020/21 on five extended journeys and a total of 7,500 km.

He looks at this country in the heart of Western Europe as an outsider. Flatlands is a photographic landscape view of the country in which the genre of landscape painting was decisively developed in the 17th century. Today, the country is the most densely populated in Europe and is criss-crossed by a complex network of roads, canals and railways. Seemingly endless industrial areas along the transport routes characterise the landscape as a sign of economic prosperity. Every square metre of land is used, every cubic metre of water is integrated into a system of dikes, locks and canals. The land, which was once considered marshland difficult to live in, is now symbolic of the radical transformation of the environment by man. Spohler and his pictures show how a cultural landscape with its complex historical, economic and social references can be read and represented.

Angelika und Markus Hartmann

»We think that “Flatlands” is his most convincing book to date, also in the sense that he has ventured out of his “comfort zone” in terms of book design with this book, also thanks to the great design by Florian Pfeffer/René Schmitt of the book one/one studio Bremen. This applies, for example, to the reading direction, the choice of paper, the binding, the design, which makes “Flatlands” a much more radical book than his previous titles! But the pictures in this book are again real “Spohlers”. The photographer combines the classic subject of landscape photography – against the background of the tradition of Dutch landscape painting – with current, contemporary topics such as urban sprawl, traffic infrastructures, climate protection measures, people’s leisure time behaviour, etc. and thus also manages to show the breaks in the otherwise very tidy landscape. A book also for lovers of high wide skies and horizons!«


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Foto von Angelika und Markus Hartmann: © Maren Katerbau