Archive for September, 2009

Without cameras

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Akbar Simonse and Marco Habanero after the exposition in Leiden.

Last Saturday we met again in the same building as where the photoshoot took place, one month ago.
Now there was an audience. Young, old. They entered the exhibtionroom and looked at the pictures, displayed on a big table.
We sat in a corner of the room and watched them carefully.
Did they like what they saw?
Some of them looked at Akbar.
Is it him?
Yes, that’s him, definitely.

We went outside and talked about the script.
It has to become a radioproof soundtrackscript, I said, but therefore I need more information from both of you.
I don’t want to make things up in this script. All ingredients have to be as real as possible. So how about another interview?
Both Akbar Simonse and Marco Habanero agreed.
We’ll make new appointments soon, without cameras.

New word: Pancake-English.



Saturday, 26 September 2009

Announcement of an exhibition of the Pictureman portraits of Akbar Simonse by photographer Marco Habanero.

Zaterdag en zondag aanstaande exposeert Marco Habanero negen Media Me portretten aan de Haagweg 4 in Leiden tijdens de Kunstroute 09.

Marco fotografeerde tijdens de fotoshoot met Akbar Simonse niet alleen digitaal, maar ook met film. Deze ‘echte’ foto’s zullen geëxposeerd worden.

Marco Habanero: “They will be small, but strong, 20×30 on foam.”

Pictureman says

Friday, 25 September 2009

Camera and edit: Matthijs Treurniet.

Texts for voice-over Pictureman, based on an interview with Akbar Simonse.

Sometimes I feel lonely.
But not when I’m behind my computer.
A picture can be company, you know.

Writing comments.
Being social.
Making connections.
I know them.
I’ve met them.
They know me.
So that’s it.
When I freez, I socialize.

I like documentaries.
And… the Simpsons.
But that’s personal.
I almost never look at movies.
I hate dramaseries and soaps, I don’t care.
I don’t understand.
Games and shows are not for me.
Don’t even talk about it.
I just don’t understand that kind of fun.
I never watch television on my computer.
I need a big screen.
My eyes are getting tired very often.

I’m a very tolerant person.
The only thing I hate are intolerant people.
It would be a nightmare for me, if my pictures would be used for something I can not identify with.
Identification is important.
I love my pictures.
I love people.

I love to learn.
But I hate manuals.
I never read them.
When I bought my camera, I read the first twenty pages.
Then I stopped.
I thought: when I need something, I’ll look it up.

When something goes wrong with my computer, I call someone to help me.
Technique has to be easy.
Technique should make me feel comfortable.
Most of the time it makes me feel stupid.
I don’t want to feel stupid.
It has to be simple.

Look at me.
Just an old man with a camera and a hat.
This is how I look, late at night.
This is me.
I never try to look like someone who isn’t me.
These are all parts of me.

Privacy doesn’t exist anymore nowadays.
Not in this society.
Don’t touch the internet, they say, for it will touch you.
But I don’t want to stay at home all the time.
Why should I?
The moment you walk the street, you lose part of your privacy.
There it starts.
I don’t care.

I have a mobile phone.
I call and sms.
That’s it.
Once I took a picture with my phone, but I don’t know where it is right now.
It’s gone.
I have my camera, so why should I take pictures with my phone?
Internet on my phone? I don’t think so.

I will become an old, maybe a bit worried man.
I’m not very enthousiastic about my own health.
My health bothers me.
Being alone bothers me.

How did it change me?
Did it change me?
It’s hard to say.
I have to think about that.
Well, I look things up.
If I want to know something, I look it up.
I’m in charge.

I read newspapers.
I watch the news.
But I never search for news on the internet.
I don’t have to know everything.
Most of the time it doesn’t interest me.
Maybe it will interest me in a few years.
I can wait.
I’m not in a hurry.
I don’t want to be informed about anything.
I just de-connect from information.
I’m glad I’m not a news addict.
I’m addicted to people.

I like comments.
Sometimes it becomes a story.
I upload a picture, give it a title, and people start to comment, just like that.
They start to interpret.
Sometimes they see things I didn’t see.
It makes me laugh.

Sometimes I love to be offline.
As if it is not there.
Time flies when you’re online.
I also love to stop.
A few days, a week.
And now something completely different.

I consider it a world.
Strange, yet common after a while.
It’s all about how quick you get used to certain habits.

Last two months. Call it reality.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Photo: Marco Habanero.
Left: me.

Right: Akbar Simonse.

About the videorecordings July/August

For two months we worked without a script.
I asked Akbar Simonse to be my model.
In Media Me your name will be Pictureman, I said.
We will portray you in several ways.
We will put you in different settings.
Let’s call it scenes.
We follow you at home, on the street, dressed in costumes, day and night.
As a director I just have one question: Can you act as if we’re not there?
Be as natural as possible? Don’t do something you would never do?
That’s ok, he said. I promise you not to act.

After a few weeks I asked if he missed a script.
No, he said, I would never cooporate in this project if there was a script.
You are the script, I said.
Yes, he said. The script, c’est moi.

His interiour was ours.
We recorded his kitchen, his bedroom, his toilet, his computer.
We spied on him in an organised way, from the attic of his neighbours house, on the otherside of the block.
The neighours asked: Does he know you are filming him?
Of course, we said, and waved to eachother.
At that time there was a telephone on the speaker, in his house, with my voice, saying things like:
_ Go to the kitchen.
_ Find a cup or a glass or something.
_ Take a drink.
_ Go back to your computer, slowly.
_Close the curtains.

Ronnie Griens and Matthijs Treurniet have been of great value during the recordings. Most of the time they worked for themselves.
We used YouTube and Vimeo for updates.
My directions were very simple. I asked them to come as close as possible, while filming Akbar.
Approach him as if he is a very important person in which every detail, every movement counts.

From the beginning of the recordings he said: I don’t want to become famous by all this.
What do you mean, I asked.
It may take away my anonimity. Media Me shouldn’t disturb me in public space. I want to keep on taking pictures freely. If DWDD calls for interviews, I will refuse. I ab-so-lu-tel-ly do not want to become famous.
They won’t call, I said. Radio and TV don’t pay much attention to these kind of projects, developed on internet. It’s just not their piece of cake. Broadcasters use other techniques. They know how to reach masses, how to manipulate and entertain you. That’s our goal, our proof of our existance. We calculate.
Seperate worlds, he said.
I guess so, I said. TV and radio don’t pay much attention to the gaming industry as well. Maybe it’s a threat. Games reach millions of people too. Just like TV. Competition, power, influence.
I don’t like games, he said.
Me neither, I said. But still, this is a kind of game we’re playing.

He left his house, sat in a train, visited the Media Park in Hilversum and the biggest studio of Europe: Studio 22.
We went to his favorite spots in The Hague, had a sober meal in an empty restaurant.
We didn’t visit a garden or a park, for he doesn’t takes pictures of flowers, plants and trees.
He photographs people in the street, and their artistic traces, like graffity and streetart.
Once, years ago, he started with taking pictures of buildings. Then people entered his account. Candid portraits, situations, call it reality.

He said: I don’t want this project to be about me. I’m the narrator, not the main character. But you’re free to use the stories I tell you.
But if you’re not the main charachter of this story, I asked, who is?
All members of The Pool? The machines?

I’m working on a radioscript now.
The soundtrack of “the movie”.
It will be a multi-layered script with many voices and sounds.
First layer is the narrator: Pictureman.
I send my texts to Akbar and ask him: “Do you agree on this? Could you say things like this?”
When he says yes, I publish these texts here.
They’re inspired by the movies, over fifty minutes of video so far, and our conversations during the last two months.

Thank you, Akbar.
Let’s write.

Bert Kommerij.

The making of King Pictureman

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Photographer: Marco Habanero.
Akbar Simonse
as Pictureman / King
Camera and edit: Ronnie Griens.

The making of Superman

Thursday, 17 September 2009

Photographer: Marco Habanero.
Akbar Simonse
as Superman with iPhone.
Camera and edit: Ronnie Griens.

The making of Astronaut

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Photographer: Marco Habanero.
Akbar Simonse
as Pictureman / Astronaut
Camera and edit: Ronnie Griens.

The making of Yogi

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Photographer: Marco Habanero.
Akbar Simonse
as Pictureman / Yogi
Camera and edit: Ronnie Griens.

Portrait #11

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Photography: Marco Habanero.
Model: Akbar Simonse.