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Workshop of a Dutch photographer Jaap Scheeren / The Mask: What Is Standing Behind Photography?

As a part of autumn session of the Dutch Photography Experience project and the exhibition UNDERCOVER FotoDepartament announces an open call of the workshop of a Dutch photographer:

The Mask: What Is Standing Behind Photography?

Workshop of the photographer Jaap Scheeren

Place: FotoDepartament Gallery, 40, Fontanka river emb., Saint-Petersburg

Dates: four days / 9 – 12 January’ 2014 / 10.00 – 18.00

Participation fee: 7000 rub. / 200 euro.

Deadline: 30 November’ 2013

Language of the workshop: English (with translation into Russian in case it’s needed)

Jaap Scheeren

“Do you want to make or to take your work?

Everybody has their own perception of the reality they encounter.

This is the one thing that makes everyone quite unique, so the question in this workshop is, how do you use your perception of the reality to tell your story, or a story related to yourself? How can you translate what you want to tell in your pictures to the audience that experiences it? What is the reality you experience and the one you capture? And If the camera already interferes in the making of the image, why not alter the image according to what you see or experience. We will also talk about your interests and why you choose the subjects you choose. For myself this is a never-ending discussion. We do everything with the whole group and try and comment each other to take the work further or try something different. We need this in order to get how someone perceives your stories.

On the first day, I give a small talk about my work (a more detailed presentation will follow on the 11th of January), and we start to discuss each others work and hear what everybody came to the workshop for, what participants want to do and to learn.

Jaap Scheeren. Flowers

Jaap Scheeren. Flowers

Participants can choose how the workshop will go for them.

One option is to work with an already existing body of works. You bring your material, and we work on the edit and the story you’re telling or want to tell. We will find out what will be the strong sides and where you might have some gaps to fill up with more work.

The second option is to have an experimental assignment. You buy a newspaper and find the 10 most interesting things for you in it. Preferably texts but images could be fine as well. When you make a pick, think how does it trigger your imagination and make an image appear in your head. Write down why you choose these ones and what you think is the general theme in the ones you chose. These 10 things will be the starting point of making a new work. Make the images that come to your mind you, and we will discuss further.

In both these routes we try to look for things that are challenging and try to tackle them or confront them one way or another.

The last day we make a group picture and everybody comes up with an idea we all have to execute. We’ll work on making a new kind of group pictures: almost nobody seems to be doing it so much or good, and it’s a nice practice of a collaborative creation and work with multiple ‘figures’. 

Jaap Scheeren


To submit your registration for the workshop, please, fill in an online form on the website, and write:

– reasons you want to participate in the workshop

– link to your online portfolio with your projects

Deadline: 30 November’ 2013

Jaap Scheeren. Cut Shaving

About the photographer:

“Jaap Scheeren is nuts. That’s perfectly fine, since we need people like that, and he’s one of them. And luckily he’s willing to help us out a little; he presents our surreptitious feelings and desires through the medium of free expression that we are all too happy to leave to him. He dreams up the wackiest, liveliest performances, or carefully staged photo-opportunities, and then steps back while events take their course – leaving us to rhapsodize over the result. It seems we are all secretly envious of his refreshing non-conformism and dynamic inventiveness”.  (Frank van der Stok)

Jaap Scheeren is known for his diverse practices in photography and art: from building a cardboard house for his projections and making elaborated installations to creating art objects. Among the latter, one may find, something like a golden sculpture of a trash bag. But also – publications, truely artistic objects. Each is fresh, smartly designed and published by recognized publishers (FW:, RVB books etc.). From his first book ‘The Black Hole’ made in collaboration with Anouk Kruithof, Jaap has been experimenting with photography and it’s presentation forms. In the line of these publications (‘3 roses, 9 ravens, 12 months’; ‘Fake Flowers in Full Colour’; ‘Il/Elle s’appelle Margriet’), the newest September launched project ‘Cut Shaving’ is probably the most daring in it’s suggested relations between photography, design, bookmaking, and a web platform: a website being a book, and a book being a key to the website leave us, putting it in Stok’s words ‘rhapsodizing over the result ‘.

The official website of Jaap Scheeren:

Feel free to ask us any questions about the workshop and other events of the program by the telephone:  +7-901-301-7994 or e-mail:


Gallery / Foundation FotoDepartament

40, Fontanka river emb.
Saint-Petersburg / Russia
tel.: +7-901-301-7994 / +7 (812) 273-6274

Click to the images to enlarge them.