Amsterdam Landmarks is a series of ten digital collages. An exhibition of the same name held in 2014 in Amsterdam’s City Hall, which presented the works in a large format, went viral on several news websites.
Today the series is available as a set of postcards and as 80-x-60-cm prints via Heden art gallery, which occasionally exhibits the works at various locations.
Amsterdam Landmarks presents a different version of the city: an Amsterdam that feels simultaneously familiar and foreign. In the photo collages, iconic buildings have been meticulously wiped off the map. Through these images, viewers are encouraged to reevaluate their surroundings and reflect on Amsterdam’s spatial planning and identity.
Erasing several buildings from the Dutch city’s map would create a fair amount of space. Many consider De Nederlandsche Bank an eyesore, and the city would be far less busy without the Rijksmuseum. But what is a city without monuments? Aren’t De Waag and the Concertgebouw part of Amsterdam’s identity? And despite Dam Square’s crowdedness, don’t we prefer to see the Royal Palace as we cycle through the plaza?
What if we returned the newly flattened land to Mother Earth, or filled it with housing blocks? What if urban planning could be reconsidered from a blank slate? It’s up to the viewer to determine what meaning these hypothetical cityscapes hold for the city.