Stille Nacht – FD Persoonlijk

The concept for this series arose during the first weeks of the Covid-19 lockdown 2020 in Amsterdam. I wanted to show the effect of the pandemic on a topic that is close to my heart: the nightclubs and event spaces in Amsterdam. There I started with photography and I taught myself to operate the camera.

Every building has its own atmosphere. Some venues even have a certain status. Artists dream of performing there one day. They stand for quality and creativity.

What fascinates me about nightlife is the dreamworld created by the interplay of  light, sound and human energy. That dreamworld can be compared with the story of Alice in Wonderland. You fall down the rabbit hole and transfer into a magic world, where everything is possible. This fantasyland is controlled by the dj’s, who rise above the crowd like gods on their throne and control the crowd with their wheels of steel.

When the night ends and the lights go up, this magical world disappears like waking up from a dream. From one moment to the next it is gone and it is hard to believe it ever existed.

This effect recurred when shooting the empty nightclubs. Some of them are even hard to recognize. The buildings changed into strange structures of metal and steel. They seemed to have shrunken, like they had been injected with Alice in Wonderland’s shrinking agent. Years of partying had left their traces like wrinkles on the walls. The stage that looked like a throne had been degraded to a mere piece of wood.