Wytske van Keulen


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My work arises from personal encounters. Through my work I investigate the human condition, the choices people make regarding their personal lives and the results of these choices. The core of the work deals with existential questions. How did we, as a people, come where we are now and what are we looking for? Over the last years I have been photographing several people who, for different reasons, chose to turn their back to our (modern) society or who in some way deliberately set aside our strongly economized and de-spiritualized world. By visualizing the lives of these people questions arise about our own life situation, history and the choices we make in life.
For the latest series Stick Holding Branch I travelled to France, Japan and the United States collecting representations of these ‘free spirits’ and discovering a greater interconnectivity among them. Be it trying to live of the land in a yurt along a river (Michelle, Eus, FR) fleeing from the pressure and busyness of big metropolitan cities to live in the countryside with natural water and clean air (Sadaoka Family, Kamiyama, JP), or creating an anarchistic household free of race, gender and social historical backgrounds (Feral House, Boise ID, US). I see these ways of living as a form of resistance. Stick Holding Branch ultimately shows us a global community of individuals who chose their own path in life, setting aside society’s demanding expectations and following their ideals.