Human Flower Project

Orrington, MAINE USA

flag flower bed

parker basket thumb
Princeton, MAINE USA

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bee Flowers

A Dutch photographer’s online portfolio shows cultural flux in contemporary Russia and Palestine. Flowers, real and fake, mark the “fault-lines” between old and new.


Backyards of Babylon

Photo: Bee Flowers

Thank you, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  for permitting us to present here some of your intriguing work.

Bee is a Dutch-born photographer who has spent much of the past 15 years making art in Russia and the Middle East. His pictures of everyday objects first brought to mind for me the photographs of Walker Evans—Evans’s images of Coca-Cola signs and the decorations on a sharecropper’s mantelpiece.

But take a look. Most of Bee Flowers’s photographs are color-saturated. They focus on the every objects of life—toothbrushes, chairs—and manage to show through those humble objects a world of upset, feeling, and uncertainty. Whereas Evans strikes me as witty and ironic, Bee Flowers conveys another mood, both more playful and more compassionate.

image Fake Plastic Trees

Photo: Bee Flowers

In his series Backyards of Babylon, residents of the West Bank both cling to tradition and grasp for novelties. Bee writes, “Fake flowers play such a prominent role in people’s lives there (due to the absence of wild flowers, no doubt).” In Dacha, interior details of an elderly woman’s home communicate both loneliness and self-satisfaction—maybe even pride.

For me, it’s especially fascinating how flowers seem to be cushioning the shocks—as the old world scrapes against the new, self-sufficiency caves in to consumerism, east and west meet but not along a straight seam. Flowers are a way of making peace (or calling a truce, anyway) between incommensurables.


People, Photo: Bee Flowers

Posted by Julie on 08/28 at 11:06 AM
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