The Velvet Zone
The edges of society, the fringes, the real life, this is what intrigues me and what I look for. Also in abandoned places where experiences which have taken place create a sphere one cannot see,
During my search for the reality of life,
I discover a brothel in Amsterdam.
While discussing the project I hope to set in motion, the owner says:
“Then you need to come and work here, build up trust with the girls. Only then will you be able to understand and draw a map about this life.”
I work nine months as assistant manager.
Trust is established and I begin to photograph the rooms after the deed is accomplished. This is the nerve center of the brothel. I notice my photos contain more than the room alone. They capture the way life in a brothel is lived.
As soon as a click is made between the girl and a client, the price paid and the key received, a new reality emerges. For one hour both are transported from daily life into a small isolated intimate space. The sole constant element is the ticking of the clock. When time is up, everything reverts back to the ordinary. Sheets are changed, a skirt is straightened, shoes are put on and life begins anew.
It is a surreal world filled with theatrical moments and every time again I am surprised and full of wonder how this occurs.
I experience it as a privilege to photograph this world. Everything I look for in my photography is contained in it: abstraction, impressionism, isolation. Although the nights are long, in the early morning when I return home I feel satisfied as I listen to the birds and review the images from the previous night.
This in The Velvet World of the night.