Photo exhibition

Noorderlicht on science

Nucleus surprises

Eerste slide: Voorpagina met Chapeau en kop

Noorderlicht on science

Nucleus surprises

01-1 intro
How do you depict science? That question is being answered by 74 photographers from 26 countries with approximately 700 images during the Noorderlicht photo display.
Text by Kevin Schilder / Translation Sarah van Steenderen

The exhibition, which opens on 22 October in seven different locations in Groningen, Assen and Eelde, is called NUCLEUS. ‘People are really interested in the integration of science into modern society’, says Noorderlicht organiser Marco Knip. ‘We are in the midst of the fourth industrial revolution, where technique is slowly taking over. It can’t get any more topical than that.’

This is also why Noorderlicht may return to this theme in future exhibitions. ‘But this is topical, and it will continue to be so.’

The curator selected the photos shown on the basis of the story they tell. Plus, the theme needed a broad interpretation. In many cases, it’s a work in progress. Photographers can spend years working on a certain theme, which means some stories aren’t even close to be finished.

The UK presents a little taste of nine intriguing images from various locations.

NUCLEUS will be available from 22 october to 26 November, in Der Aa-kerk (Groningen), De Faun (Groningen), CBK (Groningen), Noorderlicht Galerie (Groningen), NP3 (Groningen), Museum de Buitenplaats (Eelde), and KINK (Assen).


Caleb Charland

Fruit Battery Still Life


Caleb Charland – series ‘Back to Light’

Most American students are familiar with the fruit battery. Take some zinc (usually a nail), a bit of copper (a coin), insert them into some fruit and connect them with a metal wire. The fruit juice works as a conductor and generates power. So much even that you can use it to switch on a lamp.

Caleb Charland is fascinated by the phenomenon and has been photographing it for years. Not just because he thinks it’s so beautiful. He also wants his photos to act as a wake-up call. ‘What do we when we run out of energy sources?’

Fruit Battery Still shows how many pieces of fruit it takes to switch on a simple table lamp.

Museum De Buitenplaats, Eelde


Daniel Kariko

Long Legged Fly


Daniel Kariko – series ‘Suburban Symbiosis’

Take a scanning electron microscope and a stereoscopic microscope. Use them to find the things living in your house that you normally miss because they’re so small.

American photographer Daniel Kariko is professor at the University of East Carolina, but mainly focuses on depicting his vision on the use and loss of land and the ecological questions that arise. All these insects in our homes are the result of people moving in on their habitat, he thinks.

He created these ‘portraits’ by playing with lighting and using various small reflectors. It resulted in a lighting effect reminiscent of the Dutch masters.

Der A-Kerk,Groningen


Evgeni Arbugaeva

Amani Hill Research Station #9


Evgeni Arbugaeva – series ‘Amani Hill Research’

German scientists created agricultural institute Amani in north eastern Tanzania. The First World War came and went, the English took over, and transformed it into an important malaria research facility.

For the locals, the institute was a complicated presence in their country. Some considered it the height of progress, but many other people though the scientists on the hill were practising black magic.

The institute is still there on that hill top, although it is no longer being used. For two months, Russian photographer Evgenia Arbugaeva photographed the institute as seen through lab assistant John’s eyes. She not only shows his daily routines, but also their essential importance.

Der A-Kerk Groningen


Jeroen Hofman



Jeroen Hofman – series ‘Forensics’

Thorough forensic research is essential to criminal law. The better and advanced the methods, the faster and easier the right perpetrator can be found.

The Netherlands are at the forefront of developing new methods for ‘real CSI’. Photographer Jeroen Hofman shows how forensic scientists learn the techniques used and put them into practice, ranging from blood spatter and DNA analysis to pathological studied.

KINK, Assen


Jos Jansen

Playground #20


Jos Jansen – series ‘Playground’

Universities should be playgrounds for scientists, says Ben Feringa. Keeping that in mind, Dutch photographers Jos Jansen shadowed the Groningen Nobel Prize winner in his laboratory to see what that playground looked like.

Jansen is a trained psychologist and is mainly interested in the interaction between people and science.

He depicted the daily experiments that researchers in Feringa’s lab did with molecular motors and switches. This artificially made molecules move under the influence of light pulses and can then be manipulated.

Der A-Kerk, Groningen


Michael Najjar

Liquid gravity


Michael Najjar- series ‘Outer space’

Fifty-year-old German photographer Michael Najjar has been working on a series about the discovery of space for years, blending reality and fictitious scenarios. To that end, he visited spaceports and laboratories and met with scientists and astronauts.

Ultimately, he decided to become part of his project by booking a seat on the Virgin Galactic, Spaceship Two, to become the first artist in space.

He is currently enrolled in a training programme at space centres in America, Russia, and Germany. He captures the extremes his body is going through, such as a flight on the MiG-29 fighter jet in the stratosphere, ‘space walks’ in a swimming pool, and a parachute jump from a height of ten kilometres.

Noorderlicht Fotogalerie Groningen


Robin Alysha Clemens

Owned By No One #017


Robin Alysha Clemens – series ‘Owned By No One’

In Owned by No One, Dutch photographer Alysha Clemens tells the story of a dystopian, late-digital era. In this world, members of a subculture are trying to protect their identity while all around them, information is money and privacy has been destroyed. To that end, they live in safe houses, remove their fingerprints and wear special contact lenses to prevent their eyes from being scanned.

Clemens graduated with this project from the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague. She not only came up with the movement herself, which means she had to write a manifesto, but she also photographed the members ‘from the inside out’. They are fictitious, but are based on reality.

Essentially, the question is: how free are we when we always have to protect our identities?

 De Faun, Groningen


Wayne Barrar

Mount edge-wave


Wayne Barrar – series ‘The Glass Archive’

New Zealand photographer Wayne Barrar made his name photographing the glass-like remains of microscopic organisms. These have been collected and archived since the nineteenth century.

They are invisible with the naked eye. But once you view them under the microscope, they show their true face, says Barrar. They are of a geometric diversity and perfection that cannot be found in nature.

The title of the series, The glass archive, refers to the different types of glass. The glass ‘skeleton’ the one-celled weeds use to protect themselves from the outside world, the glass in the microscope lens, but also the glass frame of the printed work.

De Faun, Groningen

mobile versie
How do you depict science? That question is being answered by 74 photographers from 26 countries with approximately 700 images during the Noorderlicht photo display.
Text by Kevin Schilder / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

NUCLEUS, heet de tentoonstelling die op 22 oktober van start gaat op zeven verschillende plekken in Groningen. ‘De aanwezigheid van wetenschap in de moderne samenleving leeft enorm’, zegt organisator Marc Knip van Noorderlicht. ‘We zijn bezig met de vierde industriële revolutie, waarin de techniek het langzaam van ons overneemt. Hoe actueel wil je het hebben?’

Niet voor niets wil Noorderlicht het thema ook in de komende jaren terug laten komen in andere expositie. Hoe precies, is nog niet duidelijk. ‘Maar dit speelt en dit blijft spelen.’

De selectiecommissie koos de geëxposeerde foto’s vooral voor het verhaal dat ze vertellen. Bovendien moest het thema breed in beeld gebracht worden. In veel gevallen is het ook work in progress. Fotografen zijn soms al jaren bezig met het verbeelden van een thema, waardoor het verhaal nog lang niet af is.

De UK geeft je alvast een voorproefje met negen intrigerende beelden van diverse locaties.

NUCLEUS is te zien van 22 oktober tot en met 26 november in de Der Aa-kerk (Groningen), De Faun (Groningen), CBK (Groningen), Noorderlicht Galerie (Groningen), NP3 (Groningen), Museum de Buitenplaats (Eelde) en KINK (Assen).

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