The CAMP’s 2020 Roundup: Reflections with Alice de Krujis
2020 is on its way out of our collective memory, though not without fully overhauling life as we’ve known it. At The CAMP, we kicked the year off by starting from scratch, adding new and wildly talented artists to our darling roster (i.e., making loads of new friends), partnering with FAMA for a 40-artist exhibition, leaving our Little River home and setting up shop in North Miami, and even the launch of a brand-new virtual gallery with the help of Emperia, UK.
Which made us curious—how has the unruly intensity of the new decade impacted those we work closest with?
In the spirit of growth and community, we bring you The CAMP’s 2020 Roundup, a small interview series featuring reflections from our CAMP and CAMP Spotlight artists.
Dutch fine art photographer Alice de Krujis joined the CAMP after being approached by founder Melanie Prapopoulos on Instagram. The essence of her work has a foundation in fashion and a natural curiosity that culminates in portraiture rich in color, concept, symbolism, and earnest appreciation for her subjects’ experiences. From documenting ancient ceremonial and artistic traditions in Burkina Faso communities to celebrating folks in The Netherlands living with Albinism, like Xueli, a Chinese Albinism advocate she met through Facebook, de Krujis works with an emphasis on the fullness of organic narrative. Her body of work is not one of a spectator as with “travel photography”, but that of a student chasing to understand the breadth of the human experience, creating pieces that are neither objectifying nor estranging subjects from their identities, instead enveloping them with honor and humanity.
For more about Alice de Krujis’ creative process and curiosities, you can check out our most recent CAMP Conversation with her, courtesy of CAMP Creative Mario Rodriguez.
2020 has been a difficult and often tumultuous year – how has it affected you and your artwork?
I’m from the Netherlands and we didn’t have a total lockdown, which meant I had some more freedom compared to artists in total lockdown situations.
As a portrait photographer, it was difficult starting working on a new body of work as I couldn’t work with people/models, excluding my family members. While in this situation I decided to start a very personal project.
In this project, I photographed my direct family only.
Another thing that affected my work is the exhibition planned with Paris Photo. It was always an ambition to show my work during Paris Photo but unfortunately it was cancelled. I hope next year the exhibition can go on.
What has been the biggest hurdle you have had to deal with since March of this year?
I believe the Western world has lived redundantly for a long time. With millions of flights a year and a strongly driven consumption and materialistic lifestyle. I feel like the virus has put a halt to this ‘old life’.
Have you noticed any changes in your work?
A bit, the concepts of my current series are more serious. It contains documentary elements combined with artistic photography. I experienced that I like the combination within those two elements. The narrative in the images compared with a staged concept are motivating me every time.
Have you noticed any changes in how people react and or engage with your work now that they can see it mainly online?
Yes, only online as all my exhibitions have been cancelled. Nevertheless, I find it interesting what happens in a time like this. It closes a lot of doors but also creates a lot of new initiatives and ideas. It is amazing to see how many people are creating once they don’t have much other choice.
What has been the best thing that has happened this year?
The best thing, peace of mind for sure but also the time to rethink your ambitions in life. The importance of family and the positive mindset. Positivity is very important to me. When people have a positive mindset, [they] can overcome everything and make the world a better place.
Has anything surprised you this year?
Yes, I have enjoyed the wildlife taking back some freedom and space as people stopped travelling. I read an article about thousands of sea turtles laying eggs on the beach which is usually packed with people. And many more stories like that.
What inspires you currently? Do you see this changing?
At the moment, I’m working on a new project. I became inspired by the many small Pacific Islands, home to the world’s most diverse range of indigenous cultures, which continue to sustain many ancestral life-ways. The peoples of Oceania possess a vast repository of cultural traditions and ecological adaptations. Oceania thus has the most to lose, culturally speaking, from the pressures of global political and economic change.
Is there anything (exhibition, event, travel, etc.) that you had to forego this year that ended up working out beautifully?
I believe this is my latest work, Family Member(s). This narrative is not only well accepted with many publications but mostly it leads me closer to my roots and ancestral family members.
In the same vein, is there anything that quarantine/isolation has inspired you to start doing or practicing?
Yes, to finally start testing my old Rolle flex from the 60’s. My father has many old analogue cameras and I was lucky enough to start working with this camera.
How does your process differ now that we’re all spending less time out “in the world” and more time with ourselves?
I love to do analogue post processing these days. I often print the photo I took and add a symbolic element to the photos, then I photograph them again. In this way, I believe the message of the photos are stronger and has a more in-depth result.
Do you have any New Year’s Resolutions?
To be honest I never have New Year resolutions. If you want to change things in your life for the better, then you better start it as soon as possible and not wait for New Year. But, of course everybody has to decide for themselves.