The soul of economy
Economy is emotion, trade is character, culture is passion and pain, geology and natural resources are close to love and desire. The major developments in the world do not exist in isolation, but find their expression through people. This expression is sought in Mathilde Jansen’s projects, this expression of history, culture, economy, global trade within a human and personal context. The ways of the world enrich the soul and in turn, driven by this experience the soul enriches the world.
– D. Buiks (historian/Art Amplifier)
Mathilde Jansen graduated from the Royal Academy, The Hague (KABK) in 2006, following which she undertook several art residencies and exhibited her art photography internationally, as well as carrying out commissions as a conceptual documentary photographer for the media as well as for companies and organisations such as KPN, Strukton, nrc next and Splento. Dar es Salaam has been a second home and source of inspiration. In 2016 she completed the postgraduate studies Professional Artist in Class.
Her primarily photographic practice seeks the universal value of natural minerals as a means of tracing the complex relationship between people and the global economy. She aims to create new perspectives from which to examine social structures and the connections between the local and global, which, for Jansen, form the basis of human attitudes, social positioning and intercultural communication.
In her practice Jansen consciously interweaves market-driven ways of thinking with an integrated holistic vision of nature, teasing out the borders between the two. Using experiments in analogue photography, incorporating awe-inspiring constructions on location and manipulating medium format negatives, she creates a dynamic interplay between subject matter and representation, navigating areas as diverse and all encompassing as nature and ecology, spirit and community.
Her artistic portrait and nature photography combines a non-judgemental and co-creative approach. Jansen gives insights into new intercultural and ecological understanding, in which fantasy and reality melt into one.
Jansen is a (single) mother of one daughter, Daleila, born in 2011 and works part-time as a carer for a fully paraplegic creative practitioner. She lives and works in Amsterdam, where her studio overlooks the IJ- and Markermeer lakes, which are presently a site of expansion of the city. Her current photography project represents this interplay and interaction between modernisation and wilderness, urbanisation and autonomous consciousness.
Whilst working with fragments of time and space, Jansen uses ‘stills’ in photography works and is on her way to becoming a filmmaker as well. To catch monumental moments and complex structures in moving images, in addition to photography. She’s inspired by Social Sculpture, a concept by artist Joseph Beuys; life is art, art is life. She portrays seemingly daily scenes of life, and lifts them to a higher plane. Thus there’s an interrelation between documentary photography and contemporary art. Over the past few years her projects have delved more into the psychology of individual and collective life stories in relation to organic structures. Mathilde increasingly situates her work on the borderline between poetry and art.
“The experience was an exciting one for me. It illustrated that writing was about risk – about risking everything. And that the value of the writing is not in what you publish but in its consequences. If you set out to describe reality, then the influence of the writing is upon reality.”