Photo Basel

21 - 26 September 2021

To be seen at Photo-Basel 2021 work from the new series "This is the Poem I Promised You"

In his enigmatic photo series This is the poem I promised you, the photographer Richard Westerhuis (b. 1965) subtly portrays the concept of domesticity. With the aid of dozens of sets and props, he reconstructs rooms in which something remarkable seems to have happened. The main characters in the story have disappeared, but what they have left behind speaks volumes and stimulates our imagination. In each photograph of such a recreated room, the light is slightly different and new props can be seen. They raise numerous questions: Who were the occupants of this house? Why did they leave in a hurry? Did something unpleasant happen there? Or is there another, much simpler explanation for why the rooms look so cluttered and empty?


By using the light in a very focused way and working with special color filters, Westerhuis repeatedly creates a different universe with an entirely unique atmosphere. In doing so, he shows us what it means to have a home base: the only place where you can be yourself. Westerhuis' recent series of photographs was inspired by the study La poétique de l'espace by French philosopher and writer Gaston Bachelard (1957), who discusses the imagination surrounding space and domesticity.