Witho Worms (b. 1959, living in Amsterdam) is a Dutch artist-photographer. His background in visual anthropology has lead him into an ongoing investigation in the medium of photography and its claim for natural representation and factuality. His special interest is concerned with the landscape. To be more precise, he finds his subjects where a clear distinction between a natural and cultural environment cannot be made.
His works are in the collections at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam; the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden; the National Gallery of Art in Washington; the New York Public Library; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; Musée de la Photographie in Charleroi; Bayerische Staatliche Sammlung, Munich; Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken in the Netherlands, among others. His work has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the Stedelijk Museum and FOAM in Amsterdam, the New York Public Library, C/O Berlin and the Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture in San Francisco. He is the author of Cette montagne c’est moi (Fw: books, 2012), an award-winning book designed and published by Hans Gremmen.
In January 2006, Witho Worms started to photograph spoil tips or slag heaps in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and Wales. These mountains are the visual remnants of the coal mining industry. In Europe, these black pyramids are the symbols of a vanishing era that began with the industrial revolution and has now evolved into an age dominated by binary code. For more information on the series Cette montagne c’est moi (2006-2011), click here.
In his series 1 Two Tree (2013 – 2016), Worms photographed forestry in Finland, Sweden, France, and Belgium. Click here for more information on 1 Two Tree.
When You Look at a Landscape…
This series comprises of sixteen full-frame 30×50 cm contact prints in an edition of three. The detailed large-format views are rendered in three layers of carbon tissue made with matt Bone Black pigment (the first two layers) and glossy Japanese Sumi ink (the third layer). After transferring the printed image on a a final support paper, the order of the 3 image layers reverses. The two ‘bone black’ image layers are on top of a shiny Sumi ink layer – showing every shade of black in the masked areas.
Inspired by the concept of ‘rewilding’ of a writer and environmentalist George Monbiot (Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea and Human Life, 2013), Witho Worms had dedicated his journey along the arctic coastline of Norway in the summer of 2016 to ‘rewilding’ himself. After having photographed man-made landscapes for fifteen years, for the series When You Look at a Landscape… he immersed himself in a natural environment: untouched, wild and unpredictable. The primeval, uninhabited panoramas of sea, glaciers and mountains continue Worms’ fascination with the interplay between nature, vision and the camera. The images engage the infinitude of landscape with the limits of a frame, shaped by the artist and the technical apparatus itself.
Click here for a CV