European Prospects
Exploring European Identity through Photography

We would come to doubt everything…

Portfolio We would come to doubt everything…

'The documentary photo project We would come to doubt everything… deals with Juan (Jan), a Brabant dentist who thirty years ago left everything 
behind to start a new life in the remote mountain village of San Sebastian de Garabandal in Spain. Juan de la Torre leads the life of a hermit and
 has devoted himself to the ‘study of life’, immersing himself in books on religion, alternative philosophies, the falsification of history and conspiracy theories.

Van Keulen visited Juan and took pictures of both the rugged, romantic mountain landscape around Garabandal and Juan’s daily life. By enveloping her subject, leaving openings in the image sequence and occasionally adding existing archive material to her photographs, the photographer is able to create a portrait of a mysterious figure. Van Keulen stretches the limits of the documentary genre, and explicitly appeals to the viewer’s imagination.’ (Xander Karskens, 2008)

The work We would come to doubt everything… is presented in a book as well as a slide installation. For the book I asked artist/writer Nickel van Duijvenboden to write a short fiction. The story is entitled Hohenau, after a village founded by German colonists in Paraguay. Van Duijvenboden wrote the story through loose associations with my photographs. Though reality and fiction share some parallels, the outcome is totally different.