School - In love, Bored & Overslept
April 8 - August 6, 2023
Fotomuseum Den Haag, The Hague, NL
Almost everyone spends a large part of their childhood in school. And if one thing became clear during the corona period, it is that a society without physical schools is unthinkable. What needs to be taught has changed over time as has how it is taught. Going through primary and secondary school enables you to keep up with society. School is so much more than the building you go to to gain knowledge. Some experience the school period as an obligation and the memory of it is not as rosy as that of photographer Dirk Kome, also guest curator of this exhibition. Out of curiosity, he returned to his own secondary school with his camera and searched in books and archives for work by other photographers to get a sharper picture of the meaning of this place for children and adolescents. The result of this search can be seen in the exhibition School. Through the eyes of photographers who, like Kome, returned to that period in their lives. But also from photographers who made images for magazines, newspapers and other clients, to look behind the front door of the school. Apart from photography taken at schools in various cities and regions in the Netherlands, pictures from overseas and former colonies are also shown. The more than 140 images in total, provide a fascinating look at the changing attitudes in society that become visible in schools: they show what is taught, what classrooms look like, and what forms the relationship between teacher and pupil and between pupils themselves has taken over time. Moreover, 2023 will mark 225 years since the first vision for national education was drawn up and 175 years since freedom of education was enshrined in the Dutch constitution. A good time to look back at the meaning of school using 150 years of photography to pay tribute to the student. On view is a mix of historical images by Cas Oorthuys (1908 - 1975), Fred Fischer (1905-1981), Jutka Rona (1934-2016), Eva Besnyö (1910-2003) and others. Supplemented by work by contemporary makers such as Carel van Hees (1954), Justin Jin (1974), Martine Stig (1972), Marijn de Jong (1975), Reinier Gerritsen (1950) and Raimond Wouda (1964).