‘Disneyfication’ is a visual photographic investigation into how ‘ordinary’ reality is disguised and hidden as our public spaces are changed through the intervention and use of imagery.
Theo Derksen explores the process through which our public spaces have become increasingly globalized and homogenous, not just in their structures but also in their use of imagery. More and more, the spaces have acquired the characteristics of an amusement park. New places are created to enable people to experience a more perfect version of reality – places which are easy to understand and appear safe for everyone. As far as is possible, problems such as decline, poverty and traffic congestion are eliminated and the environment is arranged in a way that stimulates people’s behaviour in their drive to consume.
Theo Derksen is a Dutch photographer who has received several awards including the Kodak Award, a Polaroid sponsorship, The Amsterdam Art Foundation Grant and the Limburg Art Grant. After studying Photography and Audio Visual Design he worked as a trainee with Magnum photographer Ernst Haas before becoming a photojournalist for several Dutch newspapers and magazines. In 1990 he became an associate professor in photography and research at University Zuyd Art Department and later Head of Visual Communications. He has also been a visiting professor at many major educational establishments.
The book includes an interview with Francine Houben, creative director and founding partner of Netherlands-based Mecanoo Architects. Perhaps best known in the UK as the architect of Birmingham Library, she is currently involved in the refurbishment of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C. and the New York Public Library. Dewi Lewis 2019.
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September 08, 2019 to October 14, 2019