Arthur Kleinjan studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and later also at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2001 until 2002. He is particularly drawn to the media of photography and video. His work attempts to explore human experience in relation to the metaphysical experience of time, place and identity. Kleinjan integrates the viewer by playing with these concepts. He does this for example by transforming seemingly ordinary and simple moments into something unique. In his photo series ‘Paris Looks’ he photographs the uncomfortable poses and gestures that accompany the ‘holiday photo’. Whilst each individual tourist takes position for his or her travel companion, Kleinjan as a second photographer captures the scene from an elevated viewpoint. Despite this distanced perspective, these images have a certain intimacy and fragility, via which the viewer identifies him or herself with the piece. Kleinjan is able to register these scenes at such an exact point as to bring out the spectacle in them, as if the tourists are actors on a stage. He demonstrates how they allow themselves to be immortalised in an attempt to resist the passing of time, attempting to obtain something meaningful at a later point in the form of memory.
Video works by the artist also show his keen interest for the themes of time and place. His work ‘Traverse’ has a cinematographic, narrative nature. It is a complex story that traverses narrated childhood memories, recent experience and dream. It is not clear whether the central figure of the piece is dreaming what he had experienced or that he is experiencing that what he had dreamed. His work is located in the space where reality, memory and dream meet.
‘Moments of Considered Time’ was shown at ‘ROAM’, the first time this most recent work had been seen in the Netherlands. It interweaves images of modern Cairo with the history of film, photography and Egypt itself. This together with personal observations and memories creates a complex work of undeniable interest.