World renowned Dutch expert of photography and the photographic book, Corinne Noordenbos, has landed on our shores. For more than three decades, she has drastically impacted the development of photography internationally. Photography Studies College Course Director Daniel Boetker-Smith spoke with her about mentoring her now famous students, her career highlights and visiting Australia for the first time.
DBS: With regards to your upcoming one-on-one sessions at Photography Studies College, how do you help your students reach such remarkable levels of success?
CN: A critical attitude can be seen to being too hard to students, but in fact I see it as an encouragement to dare to reach further then they can ever imagine in the first place. I once objected to a student graduating with a presentation that was far below the standard of her work. She was very upset and had to prove herself to us again. With the new presentation she was so successful she was nominated for one of the most prestigious art prize in the Netherlands. I believe I have to try to encourage and stimulate students by asking the best, the very best of what someone can do
DBS: You are a reference for some of the most renowned photographers of the moment including Rineke Dijkstra, Viviane Sassen and Rob Hornstra. What impact have you had on your students and how have you seen them grow under your guidance?
Viviane Sassen wrote "Thank God not any more!", because with each book, she had me in mind – and wondered 'What would I think of it?' In a very early stage Rineke Dijkstra showed her talent for photographing people but never dared to approach them. So everybody was photographed from behind, just their backs. Looking at her portraits now, you would not believe she was that shy at the start!
DBS: You taught photography for 35 years in some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, what were some of the highlights?
CN: I had many encounters that I will never forget. For instance, Rob Hornstra was the first who introduced crowdfunding for his graduation project ‘Communism & Cowgirls’, long before crowdfunding became common practice. Instead of raising money for an edition of 250 books, it became an edition of 750! It became a standard for graduating for students after that.
DBS: Tell us about your reason for coming to visit us in Australia?
CN: As I’m very passionate about photography, it is always an adventure to come to a community that I do not know well. I look very much forward to get acquainted to the Australian photographic community! I have worked with Ingvar Kenne (who recently spoke at Photography Studies College) and others.
DBS: What are you looking forward to the most while you are here?
Each community has its definitions, codes and connotations to the visual language of photography. That makes it into a challenge if we can reach each other and I will try to provide new ideas, insights and method of working.
Photography Studies College is delighted to welcome Corinne Noordenbos for our 54th Image Makers Seminar. The success of the photobook in The Netherlands is greater than ever. Photobooks have now reached all corners of the photographic world and Dutch photobooks are regularly at the centre of major international prizes . Where does this success come from? How did they build up this reputation? And what are the traditions that have created this success?
Image of Corrine by Ari Versluis