Concentrating on ideas of time, place and reality, the
work of artist Simon van Til (1985, The Netherlands)
brings forth reflexive views on the outside world in
relation to representation through photography.
Working across photography and sculpture, Van Til's
practice brings together precise perspectives on the
physical, visible world and self-reflexive relations to
the meaning, means and history of image-making,
interwoven with and processed through the rudi-
mentary nature, the methods and the history of the
medium of photography, to reflect on a world being
reflected back upon itself and to reflect on being in
the world.
Earlier works have paralleled photographic exposure
and duration to circumstances of natural light and time,
having been photographed at the speed of light, during
nighttime and by moonlight. Other works focused in-
stead on objects that have moved through time, objects
of which their understanding has changed over time.
Most recent works centre on the optical principle of the
camera obscura, understood as a natural, omnipresent
aspect of the world itself, to look at the nature of repre-
sentation in itself.




For all inquiries, contact
simonvantil@gmail.com



cv



Camera, 2023
cast bronze,
cast from a pre-Columbian double-chambered
vessel attributed to Chimú culture, ca AD 900-
1470, fitted with two Roman coins, ca. AD 69-79
and AD 81-96.
25x15x12 cm.



Camera-2023-1-simon-van-til



two details of
Camera
, 2023
cast bronze,
25x15x12 cm.



Camera-2023-2-simon-van-til



Camera is a bronze cast from a ceramic pre-Columbian
vessel, attributed to Chimú culture, dated between AD
900-1470. The double-chambered vessel in the shape of
two jaguars was once a ritual object that supported the
crossing to an afterlife as burial gift. Cast with both its
openings covered by ancient Roman coins, defaced by
having drilled pinhole apertures at their centres, the
ceremonial vessel that was once lifted from the darkness
of a grave is now repurposed as an optical instrument.
Made up of artefacts made by two ancient civilizations
separated by geography and moment in time, this cast
bronze sculpture accumulates and amalgamates the past
by reusing and repurposing these objects, pragmatically
but subversively. Holding two parallel representations of
the visible world as a double camera obscura, this sculp-
ture is positioned in between existing reality and its im-
material representation, present and past, life and death.



Large format camera
in camera obscura,
former studio, 2021



Camera
                Obscura-simon-van-til



House of the Orchard, 2023-2024
photogram made from cherry wood
veneer, silver gelatin print, 40x120 cm.
Framed 90x180 cm.



House-of-the-Orchard-1-simon-van-til



An ancient Roman Pompeiian villa, the House of the
Orchard is known for its frescos that adorn the walls
of two bedroom spaces, offering views onto an orchard
through life-like representation. This multi-part work
looks at the imitation of nature and early history of
Western painting through the historical beginning of
photography in the form of the photogram.
These lush views are however starkly reduced to the
painted pergola panels that circumscribe the blue
bedroom. The panels are each copied as photograms
by exposing latticed pieces of cherry wood veneer on
b/w paper, resulting in an image of a lattice frame-
work on a black ground, identical to the original
painted representations.

House of the Orchard
, 2023-2024
photogram made from cherry wood
veneer, silver gelatin print, 40x80 cm.
Framed 90x140 cm.



House-of-the-Orchard-2-simon-van-til



An identical set of photograms replaces
the wood veneer with a lattice of cut cherry
tree leaves, conflating orchard and pergola
into one image.

detail of House of the Orchard, 2023-2024
photogram made from cherry tree
leaves, silver gelatin print, 40x80 cm.
Framed 90x140 cm.



House-of-the-Orchard-simon-van-til

House-of-the-Orchard-simon-van-til
Template made of cut and pasted,
dried cherry tree leaves, used for
making a photogram in negative
on b/w silver gelatin paper, 2023



House of the Orchard, 2023-2024
photogram made from cherry tree
leaves, silver gelatin print, 40x80 cm.
Framed 90x140 cm.




House-of-the-Orchard-4-simon-van-til



Installation views of Back to the Future
Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam
January 19 - March 28, 2018
Traveled to
C/O Berlin, Amerika-Haus, Berlin (DE)
September 29 - December 1, 2018
Traveled to
Mai Mano Haz, Hungarian House of
Photography, Budapest (HU)
February 1 - March 17, 2019

The traveling exhibition Back to the Future,
the 19th century in the 21st century
, paired
19th-century photography with contemporary
practices, drawing parallels in motifs, methods
and means.



Back-to-the-Future-1-simon-van-til

Back-to-the-Future-2-simon-van-til



Untitled, 2015-2018-2023,
two silver gelatin prints,
each 28,5x36 cm.
Framed 72,5x85 cm.



Untitled-2023-simon-van-til



This two-part work takes on the form of a diptych,
presenting two individual pre-Columbian Chimú
burial vessels. Photographed inside a darkened
tent with a small hole in the top, the objects were
lit by daylight during exposures that lasted up to
several hours,
gradually appearing from the dark-
ness. Yet, as a result of erroneous double exposures
on already exposed film, the artefacts almost dis-
appear from the pictures
instead.
Brought forth by a civilization long lost, these
vessels persist, to continue to exist, but remain
perpetually elusive.


detailed view of Untitled, 2015-2018-2023,
two silver gelatin prints, each 28,5x36 cm.
Framed 72,5x85 cm.



Untitled-2023-simon-van-til



detailed view of Untitled, 2015-2018-2023,
two silver gelatin prints, each 28,5x36 cm.
Framed 72,5x85 cm.



Untitled-2023-simon-van-til



Installation views of Back to the Future,
the 19th century in the 21st century
,
C/O Berlin, Amerika-Haus, Berlin (DE)
2018



Back-to-the-Future-3-simon-van-til

Chimu-Suite-4-simon-van-til



Current and Equivalent, 2018-2019
three ritual pre-Columbian Chimú
burial vessels, ca. AD 900-1470,
wool blanket, two ash wood elements



Current-and-Equivalent-2018-simon-van-til
Simon-van-Til-Current-and-Equivalent-small

Installation view of Back to the Future,
Foam Fotografiemuseum, Amsterdam.


Current and Equivalent is a sculpture informed by
notions of reproduction and transformation. A small
show at an antiquarian's shop in 2015 centered on
the removal of six pre-Columbian vessels attributed
to Chimú culture, replaced by photographs of the
objects. A concurrent exhibition at De Ateliers in
Amsterdam then housed the vessels alongside other
sculpture. The work Current and Equivalent from
2018 consecutively compressed this installation of
disparate objects into a single sculpture, as a form
of duplication. Three vessels had been traded in
meantime, destroyed abstract wood objects were
reinterpreted.

Simon-van-Til-Untitled-small-1

Untitled, 2015,
six pre-Columbian Chimú vessels,
this work is no longer extant.


Simon-van-Til-Untitled-small-2

Untitled, 2015, oak wood with
brass inlay, no longer extant.








Untitled, 2014
chromogenic color print,
24x18 cm. Framed 26x20 cm.



Untitled-2014-simon-van-til



Objects held in the collection
of RMO, Royal Museum of
Antiquities, Leiden, NL



Installation view of The Rediscovery of the World,
Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam,
September 7, - December 8, 2013



Huis-Marseille-4-simon-van-til



Light over Horizon (sunset to nautical twilight),
2012, chromogenic color print, 149x190 cm.
Framed 153x194 cm.

The work Light over Horizon (sunset to nautical
twilight) shows a seascape photographed with an
extended exposure that started at sunset and lasted
till nautical twilight (the moment when the sun is
12 degrees below the horizon and all natural light
has disappeared from the atmosphere).
Inherently methodical, this photograph's exposure
time ran parallel to the full duration of twilight, as
daylight faded into darkness and the visibility of the
world slowly diminished, yet the actual exposure ran
counter to this decrease, accumulating more light
over time due to a gradual increase in aperture, star-
ting with the smallest lens opening and ending with
the widest.




Light-over-Horizon-2012-simon-van-til
Simon-van-Til-Light-over-Horizon-small

Installation view, The Rediscovery of
the World
,
Huis Marseille, 2013


Installation views of Sea Views,
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam,
June 17, - September 17, 2017


Comprising a selection of photographic seascapes,
anonymously donated to the collection by a private
collector, the exhibition Sea Views included thirteen
works, on view in the Photography Gallery of the
Rijksmuseum.



Rijksmuseum-1-simon-van-til

Rijksmuseum-2-simon-van-til



From and To / Elongated View, 2011
silver gelatin print, 16,5x21 cm.
original frame 100x150 cm.

This work is photographed with an exposure time
corresponding to the time it takes for light to travel
from the sun to the Earth, an accurate duration of
8 minutes and 19 seconds. Traveling at the speed of
light, an approximate 300.000 km/s, light crosses
an average distance of 150.000.000 km.
Looking out over an expansive sea, the camera is
operated not only as a means to produce an image,
but as a device to measure duration and distance.




From-and-To-Elongated-View-2011-simon-van-til
Simon-van-Til-From-and-To-Elongated-View-small-1

Location photograph,
From and To / Elongated View
, 2011



Simon-van-Til-Huis-Marseille-From-and-To-2

Installation view, The Rediscovery of
the World
,
Huis Marseille, 2013


Installation view of Pictures from Another Wall,
the collection of Huis Marseille at De Pont
,
De Pont Museum, Tilburg,
February 15, - August 23, 2020

Moonlit Disk, 2012
photographed by moonlight,
chromogenic print, 160x200 cm.
Framed 164x204 cm.



De-Pont-2020-simon-van-til
Simon-van-Til-Moonlit-Disk-small

Location photograph, moonlit,
Moonlit Disk, winter 2012


Umbra in Umbra, 2013
photographed by moonlight,
silver gelatin print, 52,5x65,3 cm.
Framed 110x130 cm.

The work Umbra in Umbra was
photographed in nighttime, by the
light of a full moon, and recorded
a shadow that was cast on the dark
side of the Earth.



Umbra-in-Umbra-2012-2013-simon-van-til



Installation views of When I Give, I Give Myself,
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, installed
throughout the permanent collection,
May 20, 2015 - January 17, 2016



The group exhibition When I Give, I Give Myself at the
Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam put emphasis on the
artistic and existential questions that preoccupied Van
Gogh, expressed in the more than 800 letters written by
Van Gogh, most of them adressed to his brother Theo.
Each of the 23 artists and writers in this exhibition was
sent a carefully chosen letter by Van Gogh, along with
the request for a response, in the form of a work of art,
a letter or poem, to forge meaningful links between Van
Gogh's ideas and contemporary art and literature.
The exhibition, on display alongside Van Gogh's paintings
and drawings, was held on the occasion of the commemo-
ration of the 125th anniversary of Vincent van Gogh's death.

'I took a walk along the seashore one

night, on the deserted beach. It wasn't
cheerful, but not sad either, it was -
beautiful.

The sky, a deep blue, was flecked with
clouds of a deeper blue than primary

blue, an intense cobalt, and with others
that were a lighter blue - like the blue
whiteness of milky ways. Against the

blue background stars twinkled, bright, greenish, white, light pink - brighter,
more glittering, more like precious
stones than at home - even in Paris.
So it seems fair to talk about opals,
emeralds, lapis, rubis, sapphires.

The sea a very deep ultramarine -
the beach a mauvish and pale reddish
shade, it seemed to me - with bushes.'


Vincent van Gogh to his brother Theo,
Les-Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, on or
about Sunday, 3 or Monday, 4 June
1888 (letter 619)


Van-Gogh-Museum-1-simon-van-til

Van-Gogh-Museum-2-simon-van-til

Van-Gogh-Museum-3-simon-van-til


Simon-van-Til-Untitled-2015-small

Untitled
, 2015
double exposed photograph,
photographed by moonlight,
silver gelatin contact print,
10x12,5 cm. Framed 46x52 cm.


Night, 2012
chromogenic print,
image 180x140 cm.
Framed 220x180 cm.

The monochromatic, photographic work Night is the
outcome of an exposure that corresponds to the precise
duration of night-time, from exact sunset till exact sunrise.
The work depicts a clear sky as if it was day, exposed by the
last light of evening and the first light of new morning.



Huis-Marseille-1-simon-van-til



Installation views of The Rediscovery of the World,
Huis Marseille Museum for Photography, Amsterdam,
September 7, - December 8, 2013



Night-2012-simon-van-til











© 2024  Simon van Til