Jan Gulfoss Dutch, b. 1957
"This separation between two worlds, between dream and reality, freedom and imprisonment, or could it be the opposite? An island, a theater, an inaccessible world, a parallel universe, a passage to another space and time.... This is a new order, which I want to render as a pre-futuristic vision, or post-historical one."
Born in 1957 in the Netherlands, Jan Gulfoss is an explorer, both artistically and scientifically speaking. Fascinated by nature since an early age, he has continuously observed his environment and attempted to render its images and sounds. When not in the natural history museums and particularly the Monaco one which he frequently visits, Gulfoss is to be found roaming the world in a scientific expedition. From the Icelandic glaciers and volcanoes, to the hanging monasteries of Bhutan, via the Arctic pole, Tasmania, the Amazon or Africa, he studies the frequencies of Nature and record whale songs, Buddhist monks chants, or aboriginal didgeridoo.
Following his encounter with the monk Mathieu Ricard in 2011, Gulfoss decided to create his own "Plea For Animals" and subsequently developed his visual arts practice, both painting and photography. Revisiting the classic studio portrait, he places his model in front of a painted background. The attention he brings to his stage is such that the subject initially appears to pose in his natural habitat. However, at second glance, the image dissolves to reveal the subterfuge; a door, a light bulb, a glare on a window, unveil to our subconsciousness the frailty of what we had hoped to see. Can this peaceful world filled with animals be maintained outside than in an artificial setting? Couldn't we erase this window which separates us from the animal kingdom in order to better integrate it? Gulfoss photographs raise many questions. They force us to reevaluate the way we apprehend the place of animals and by extension, our own positioning within a global ecosystem.