jessica backhaus on out of the picture

out of the picture inspires you to take chances. taking a chance at a moment of your life where your own world is turned upside down. simone engelen created a very sensitive project about her father who is in search of the meaning of his life after he got laid off from his company where he worked for over twenty years. he decides to go to bali for two months where he is trying to find answers to his questions. his family supports him in his desire to find a new perspective and a new purpose.

the book juxtaposes portraits of the family with landscapes and still-lifes. simone stays back with her mother and her sister. the photographs are in a dialogue with the letters from her father. he shares with them his inner feelings, emotions and impressions while he is gone. meanwhile simone documents her mother, her sister, herself and their daily life. somehow life continues in its daily routine. her landscapes radiate melancholy and tenderness. even though the father is absent, you can nevertheless feel his presence in these empty roads and fields.

simone’s work is very personal and lyrical. our emotions get equally taken on a journey as her photographs allow us to take a walk into a world of reflections. looking at her work I feel a certain strength and vulnerability simultaneously. simone seeks to go behind the surface of the moment and creates with her father a story of courage and possibilities. out of the picture feels like an homage to her father as it traces his journey and his search of meaning at a time of uncertainty. while sharing his challenges and thoughts with his family, simone faces her own reality. the reality of growing up and finding out her own destiny.’

jessica backhaus