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Leslie Grant & Judith van IJken, 2009-ongoing

When we first met, we noticed the similarities in our lives - Leslie’s in New York and Judith’s in Amsterdam. Both photographers and teachers at art schools. Both working in the field of documentary and both interested in the borders of this genre of photography. A year later we exchanged apartments for a few weeks. Again there seemed to be many similarities. What Judith had in her Amsterdam cupboard could have been exchanged for that in Leslie’s apartment - photography books, thrift store drinking glasses, even the two cats. Of course similarities between people’s lives happen often, but the similarities in ours seemed to be an interesting starting point for a work about international collaboration. Especially since international collaboration, for us, is a topic from the newspaper that always seems to be abstract and behind closed doors. Our project is a search for how to approach this topic on different levels, from the personal to the institutional. 


We chose the International Criminal Court as our first subject in a three part project, including photographs of employees at their offices, at their homes, and donated snapshots of a view from a window - from the court itself, from their homes, from a hotel window while traveling on mission, etc. The second series explores our experiences working together through images of Judith and I in each other’s environments. For example, we stand beside the same canal in Amsterdam to be photographed, but moments apart; or, we regard each other – one facing north, the other south – on Fifth Avenue in NYC. The third series depicts impossible borders and includes landscape photographs of Belgian enclaves within the Netherlands.


With thanks to: Emile Askey, Fatou Bensouda, Katy Browning, Christopher Campbell, Antonia Pereira De Sousa, Stephanie Diamond, Mark Dillon, Essal Faal, Nicola Fletcher, Souliman Haroun, Polina Levina, Louis Moreno-Ocampo, Emilio Pagliocchini, Delia Paola Gomez Patino, Leslie Ru, Manoj Sachdeva, Miriam Spittler, Sang-Hyun Song, Niels Stomps, Francisca Sumay, Olivia Swaak-Goldman, Alex Terzich, Anita Verhoeven, Yayoi Yamaguchi.


Made possible with generous support from: The 140 Foundation & LeClairRyan.

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