This is the first time that a Kunsthal project has been made possible thanks to funding via the new investment scheme crowdfunding. Seesing is offering participation in the Religion Now project at www.voordekunst.nl where interested parties can donate funding until 1 November and thus helping make the project possible. In seventy remarkable photographic portraits of leaders of as many different religious communities in the Netherlands, Seesing demonstrates the great diversity that exists within the various religious communities. With the utmost care and respect, he has captured images of pastors, imams, priests, rabbis and other clergy.
In 2004, Seesing asked Dr Bert de Reuver, a theologist affiliated to the University of Amsterdam, to help him create a representative overview of all the active religious movements in the Netherlands. His objective was to make a series of tableaux vivants showing religious leaders in their natural settings. He hoped that people would then take a closer look at believers of the various different faiths. He created a series focusing on the details and the places in which the rituals take place, such as churches, synagogues and mosques, but also in woods or people's homes. As the religious community's spiritual guide, the leader forms the central figure in the portraits. Seesing has photographed the series using a technical camera resulting in monumental images.
Eddy Seesing lives and works in Rotterdam. In his projects, he portrays groups of people with similar social, cultural or religious backgrounds such as top company managers, opera sopranos and Moroccans from Gouda. Seesing has made a video installation that tells these Moroccans' life stories in which religion also plays an important role. The Religion Today project came into being as a result of this installation, the aim of the project being to create portraits showing the rich diversity of religions practised in the Netherlands.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a book of the same name published by THOTH and which includes an introduction written by Thomas Quartier describing the anthropological approach used by Seesing in Religion Today. The texts that accompany the portraits also describe the locations in which the photographs were taken and the rituals being performed. The book will be published in both English and Dutch.