Ordinary People (2023)

Click here for the presale of the numbered ltd. edition of Ordinary People

Ordinary People is the first retrospective book by photographer Rob Hornstra and offers a new look at his work, using his so far unexposed categorical working method, to build bridges between the different series. The book will be launched during a solo exhibition at the Fotomuseum Den Haag, starting on December 9, 2023.

During his career, Rob Hornstra has garnered international acclaim for his socially engaged projects, such as 101 Billionaires, The Sochi Project and Man Next Door. In the rich tradition of humanist photography - which includes masters such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans and Ed van der Elsken - he focuses on painting a human image of his own time.

“Even the ordinary course of life which the pictures in Ordinary People depict – child, teenager, adult, elder – becomes somewhat alienating on closer, no, longer inspection. Just look at the way the smooth faces of children slowly turn into the dejected heads of adults, and how those dejected heads evolve into the resigned furrows of the elderly. I can look at them without end, my amazement only ever increasing.”
—Lynn Berger, schrijver

For 20 years, Hornstra has been working through a self-defined list of categories that acts as a roadmap while producing new work. The inspiration for this is the German photographer August Sander (1876-1964), who started documenting the German people within certain ‘types’ at the beginning of the last century and compiled them in his book Anlitz der Zeit (1929).

The book Ordinary People is a hybrid book that balances between a substantial retrospective catalogue and a conceptual artist book. It provides a surprising insight into the twenty-year oeuvre of an impassioned photographer.

“While Sander’s portraits are marked by their static character, Hornstra’s feel as if he meets models informally. As if they had just looked up for just a moment from what they were doing – gutting a fish, doing homework, drinking a beer – and happened to make eye contact with the camera. It is in this ordinariness that the power of Hornstra’s work lies.”
—Willemijn van der Zwaan, curator

Text contributions by Lynn Berger, Merel Bem, Joerg Colberg and Willemijn van der Zwaan

Publisher: Lannoo
Design: Kummer & Herrman
Lithography: Marc Gijzen
Hardcover: 320 pp
Dimensions: 255 x 200 x 30 mm
Bilingual: Nederlands / English
Price: 55 euro
ISBN: 978 94 014 9711 4

Item Price Qty Total
Total () € 127.20