The Street & Modern Life

For his Black Country Stories commission, Hans Eijkelboom turned his lens to the area surrounding the Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham, between July 2013 and September 2014.


Hans Eijkelboom: The Street & Modern Life

The process is simply that I walk to the centre of the city where many people are. Then I walk around for 10 to 15 minutes. When something in the crowd intrigues me or touches me, I decide that will be the theme of the day. Then I start photographing…

In the above film, Hans’ work is presented as a series of moving images that capture the feeling of walking along the high street. It follows seamlessly the pages of the publication of The Street and Modern Life. We are delighted that Hans’ work was launched and screened at the Gas Hall (BM&AG) as part of Flatpack Film Festival, 2016. Hans also talked about his work during an in conversation event.

The result is a scrolling tapestry of shoppers, structured around visual themes identified by Hans such as gestures, clothes or accessories. The work celebrates the city’s social and cultural diversity but also suggests the predictable conformity inherent in consumer ‘freedoms’, driven by commercial and corporate interests.

Hans’ photographic work explores the construction of identity through clothing and personal appearance and, in turn, the relationship between individual and social identities in an increasingly globalised culture.

The photographs are the most recent addition to Hans’ ongoing series of ‘Photo Notes’ that was recently brought together and published as People of the Twenty First Century and which includes work made in Amsterdam, New York, Paris and Shanghai.

Multistory and Hans Eijkelboom have produced a photography book in partnership with Dewi Lewis Publishing. The book is available to purchase here.

Born in 1959, Hans Eijkelboom has exhibited and published his artwork extensively throughout Europe. He is an artist that is inspired by the world around him, using photography as a way of recording what he sees.