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The Artist Talkshow – 4 Power to the Models

The Artist Talk Show – Power to the Models

Sunday, October 4, 2020 at 4 p.m. (CEST)

The Artist Talk Show is a weekly talk show in which photographers, scientists, journalists and other guests discuss the theme of BredaPhoto 2020: ‘the best of times, the worst of times’. Each week, one topic will be discussed, using the work of photographers who exhibit at BredaPhoto 2020.

Hasna El Maroudi

Jan Hoek


Moderator for today is Hasna El Maroudi, co-founder of the feminist platform Magazine Lilith and journalist for De Volkskrant, De Correspondent and NPO Radio 1. She meets with Jan Hoek and some of his ‘models’ who created the exhibition ‘Power to the Models’.

With the theme of BredaPhoto ‘the best of times, the worst of times’ in the back of his mind, he realized that if you really want to change something then you have to approach it in a radically different way.

We consider it normal that a photographer, with his or her background and norms and values, determines how a model is photographed. The power in the relationship is clear: the photographer is leading, the model conforms. But what if you turn the tables around? What if you give the power in the relationship to the role the model? Jan Hoek looked for eleven models that are often photographed in a one-sided way. He offered them the opportunity to create an image of themselves in their own way. They make the plan, manage the budget, determine the location and choose the photographer.

Power to the Models is the result: eleven installations of eleven models that include Chiara Bardelli Tonino, a photo editor of the Italian Vogue. Mohan Verstegen, a soldier who is also a queer activist, Sylvana Simons, a politician and activist, and DJ Tiësto, a famous DJ. Other models are Baqteria, Hatti Rees, Bruin Parry, Lotte van Eijk, Ismail Ilgun, Jyoti Weststrate and Dick de Koning. The Exhibition is on display at Stedelijk Museum Breda.

Jan Hoek graduated from the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam and is known for his often controversial work in which he plays with stereotypes and imaging. He portrayed a former drug addict in Amsterdam as a supermodel, taxi drivers from Nairobi as movie stars and had 30 tattoo artists put a self-portrait of themselves on his body. In his projects, he lets people who are often ‘invisible’ play a prominent role. Jan Hoek’s work has been exhibited at exhibitions worldwide and he sells his work through his own website, whereby the buyer’s income is decisive for the selling price.