This photo is not a representation of myself. Maybe I wasn’t even born when this picture was taken.

When I asked Google Images for a photo to accompany my full name, they redirected me to Marinus Jan. A fifty-eight year old homeless man from the south of Holland. ‘He has blond hair, blue eyes and is a capricorn’, his missing persons file describes. Except for these facts we don’t share anything.

I decided to use the photo, because it intrigued me. The undefined vacant look in his eyes, not sad nor mirthful. The photo looks like it has been photocopied, for what purpose was it made? Was he already leading a nomadic life at this particular moment? His red blouse seems to be tidy, almost spruce. What do we know about Marinus when we look at this photo?

I think all these questions underline the reason why I like to be a photographer: the power and at the same time impotence of a photograph. The joy of a quest, with no clear end. But most of all the opportunity of finding and telling a story Through photography I want to reflect on my own behavior as a well-of citizen of the West. With the ultimate goal of confronting and relating myself and the viewer with and to matters that seem larger than us.

Using Format