Get a first hand taste of the Winter Olympics in Amsterdam

Get a first hand taste of the Winter Olympics in Amsterdam

When the mountain won’t come to Muhammad…

Can’t make it to the Winter Olympics but are enjoying the good life in Amsterdam? Then you still can get a taste of all things Russian when you head to the exhibition of the photographer Rob Hornstra in Huis Marseille. The man’s work had been intended for a show in Sochi, the subtropical Black Sea resort where the Winter Olympics are held. Hornstra’s show proved too controversial for the Russian authorities, who banned it only a few weeks ago.  

Known for his narrative power and his controversial subjects, Hornstra will have known like no one else how to convey his take on Sochi because he has spent five years documenting this region with film maker/writer Arnold van Bruggen.  

And Huis Marseille will be showing a large retrospective of his work in Russia over the last ten years. “While Hornstra’s photographs are in the documentary tradition, he has an entirely original style and his images are marked by a narrative and painterly character,” according to the Huis Marseille website

Hornstra has a phenomenal eye for detail and has documented the good, the bad and the ugly with precise honesty. Whether his lens has met with the erratically-applied false eyelashes of a floor supervisor at Hotel Zhemchuzhina in Sochi or whether it’s a plate of prison food, an army veteran, junkie, artisan, outpatient, prostitute, housewife or artist, his exacting style appears to leave no facet of his remarkable subjects to chance. 

The photographer must have enjoyed Sochi even though the Russians could not appreciate his photos, because he has also participated in a crowdfunded project to publish a few books connected with The Sochi Project – again in collaboration with Arnold van Bruggen. The last of these publications, An Atlas of War and Tourism in the Caucasus(Aperture), is for sale in the museum shop.