The photographer Arjan de Nooy uses his own as well as found images to construct histories, archives, ‘scientific’ theories and other stories. Those works often have a fictional character in which De Nooy’s role varies from that of an art historian to a feminist, from a curator to an ornithologist. His main project is a new history of Dutch photography (see denooycollection.com). De Nooy is particularly interested in the question what constitutes a ‘photographic style’, which he investigates by invoking imaginary colleagues whose activities are casted at different periods in the past. These range from the late 18th century (decades before the generally accepted birth of photography in 1839 when Daguerre en Henry Talbot started their activities!) to the 2000’s. 'Hiding behind' those fictional individuals, he describes them via “biographies”, “interviews” and images that constitute their work. This year, together with Anne Geene, he published Ornithology, which may be seen both as a photographer's study of birds and as an ornithologist's excursion into photography. Currently he is working on a publication about the information and visual possibilities that can be derived from a single image, an exercise analogous to Raymond Queneau’s “Exercices de Style” from 1947.
Arjan de Nooy studied Chemistry at the University of Leiden, obtained a PhD in Chemistry at the TU Delft, and later obtained a MA Photography at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. He was nominated for the Dutch Doc Award 2010, and won the Kleine Hans Photo award in 2009.