“I am the passenger, I stay under glass. I look through my window so bright, I see the stars come out tonight. I see the bright and hollow sky, over the city's ripped backsides and everything looks good tonight.”
– Iggy Pop –
PASSAGE is about the insignificance of man in relation to the mighty nature. We seem to be only passers-by in the universe, but we behave differently. We analyze time, space, movement and matter. We devise rules and methods. We build our world with our acquired knowledge. Driven by our mortality; the inevitable. But what do we really know? And what are we doing it for? Often without deeper consciousness we seem to be unable to do anything but create and destroy; as a machine: the 'L'homme Machine' as the Enlightened 18th century French philosopher Julien Offray de La Mettrie described. Our development has led to a form of arrogance with which we approach the universe. We behave superior because we have moved to the top of the food chain. But man is not omnipotent. For me it feels like the we believe that, the closer we are to our end. 'The Almighty-Human' loses connection with his environment, because he no longer thinks he needs it. But that's where it goes wrong, that's how I feel when I observe the public space as a photographer. Nature and our own creations give the signals. The climate is changing rapidly, as the media and politicians point out to us. And we see it with our own eyes in the flora and fauna. But to me it seems that places and things also seem to tell us the story. The story that man is only a passer-by. That the relationship between man and nature is disturbed. That we have to come to a different way of dealing with nature. That we need to feel much more connected. Also with each other. And have to act accordingly. More aware. Embracing eternity and universality. Account for the vulnerability, but also for the beauty and the 'raison d'être' of everything and everyone. Everything is connected at the atomic particle level…
“Of the approximately 4.6 billion years that the Earth has existed, we humans have only been present for 300,000 years. Nevertheless, in that relatively short time, we have exerted an enormous and destructive influence on the land distribution and ecosystems on Earth… "
PASSAGE is an on going and long term project that grows over the years. It is shot with a digital medium format camera and natural light. It takes a lot of time per photo. Van Cuyk often travels across town and country for this purpose, and often Van Cuyk sets out without result.