212 Magazine 2019

"Left alive"
Author: Itir Yildiz

To be able to seamlessly fuse the organic shapes of a landscape with the eerie world of the subconscious, like the natural, inevitable and genuine unison of light and shadows… In her fictional visual realms, photographer Ellen Kooi places her characters in wide rural settings, where they are likely to feel most comfortable. However, it is not long before you feel that something is wrong in the images, which initially deliver peace to the onlook - er: the colours, the facial expressions, and sometimes the choreographies are details which Kooi prefers to point out with skill. She is attracted to mystery, uncertainty, disappointment, duality, solitude and conflict. Accompanied by striking décor and choreography, the stories of different characters - whether looking guilty, defiant, timid, alone, preoccupied, lost or alienated from society – progress at a degree of calmness that complements the sense of eeriness.  

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Born in 1962, Kooi was trained at the Academie Minerva in Groningen, before completing a doctorate at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, in Amsterdam. She appeared in exhibi - tions throughout the ’90, but her breakthrough came in the 2000s with solo and group exhibitions which travelled the world. La Casa Encendida (Madrid), Torch Gallery (Amsterdam), Galerie Les Filles du Calvaire (Paris), Catharine Clark Gallery (San Francis - co), PPOW Gallery (New York), Beaumontpublic (Luxembourg), Centre d’Art Tecla Sala (Barcelona) and Borusan Sanat (Istanbul) are only some of the galleries that have exhibited her works. To achieve the level of emotional intensity she seeks in the mod - els, Kooi spends most of her time working with them, finding the best poses and expressions, developing choreographies and postshoot digital manipulations. It would not be wrong to seek traces of her ‘playful’ approach towards photography in her former career as a theatre and performance photographer. Acting is a major source of inspiration in Kooi’s stories, probably because of her passion for drama. Her focus on stories and narration, by incorporating prac - tical knowledge on performance, suggests that her creative process also feeds on the flukes of the mind. If we were to embark on a men - tal journey, it would be impossible to tell how much time we would spend on true stories and their reimagined versions, and how much on dreams and fantasy. In her images, which give the impression that memory is constantly recreated, Kooi is probably seeking an answer to this question. Taking her time, playing with possibilities…

SHUTR - nr. 2 2012

"Landschap als toneel"
Author: Patrizia Arena

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HRLM - 2012

"Het atelier van Ellen Kooi"
Author: Anke van der Meer

Septentrion - 2012

"Depaysement dans le paysage Neerlandais"
Author: Johan de Vos

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Fotografie Magazine - June 2012 nr. 6

Ellen Kooi, fotografie van de verbeelding. Interview and portfolio
Author: Diana Bokje

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Zoom magazine - review - 2011

ZOOM Magazine - 2011
Author: Gigliola Foschi

ADOS - nr. 8 2010

"Entre el Intelecto y el Instinto"
Author: Juan Jose Santos

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LE Magazine - May 2006

Russian Art magazine, article & portfolio

Rabobank Private banking jaarboek - 2006

“De kunst van het vertellen is datgene wat ons een gedeelde wereld verschaft”
on collection Rabobank

Zeitung vum Letsebuerger Vollek - 2005

“Toute la magie du Plat Pays”
Author: Enrico Pisanu

Boekman, tijdschrift voor kunst, cultuur en beleid - 2005 nr. 63

“Hoe vreemd en toch herkenbaar”, 3 jonge fotografen over hun werk en hun drijfveren
Author: Anita Twaalfhoven

PHOTO - November 2004

"Conversation avec Ellen Kooi"
Author: Christian Gauffre

“Onderneming & Kunst”, Edition 2002

“Les Intérieurs du Monde” - 2001

Document of Interiors in 7 cities by 14 photographers from 5 countries
Authors: Tamara Sterman, Gosewijn van Beek

Volkskrant - November 1991

“Een hond die van zichzelf schrikt”, critic Noorderlicht
Author: Rolf Bos

Signs of the Apocalypse/Rapture

Front Forty Press Chicago

Rubriek “maandag gesloten”

review solo in Torch