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Madelon Hooykaas is a Dutch visual artist. She makes films and video installations and published several books.
Born as Else Madelon Hooykaas on 28 September, 1942, in Maartensdijk in the Netherlands, she grew up in Rotterdam. She studied under various Dutch photographers until 1964 when she left for Paris. She was awarded the Europhot Prize for young photographers in 1966 and travelled to Great Brittain where she was a student at the Ealing School of Art & Design in London and worked on the photo project Along the Pilgrim’s Way to Canterbury, inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
Afterwards she established herself as a freelance photographer and film maker.
In 1968 she travelled to the U.S. when she awarded a travel scholarship by the Netherlands Ministry of the Arts. In New York she worked as assistant to the photographers Philip Halsman and Bert Stern and did workshops with Gary Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz. From New York she travelled to California, where a meeting with Alan Watts was the start of her lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism.
Back in the Netherlands, she moved to Amsterdam where she still lives and has her studio. She started writing contributions for the journal Foto, interviewing a.o. Robert Doisneau and Jacques Henri Lartigue. Meanwhile she experimented with sequential photography and with Polaroid photos in combination with texts.
In 1970 she left for Japan to interview several photographers and following her interest in Buddhism she wanted to experience life in a Zen cloister. Actually she was the first European woman permitted to stay in a traditional monastery to take photographs. As a result her photo book Zazen was published in 1971, for which she and the Dutch poet Bert Schierbeek compiled the texts. A German and English edition of Zazen followed.
In 1972 she had solo exhibitions of her Polaroid experiments in Il Diaframma in Milan, and The Photographer’s Gallery in London. On this occasion she wrote about time as an abstract symbol in Creative Camera and in Il Diaframma.
Madelon Hooykaas’ photo works are part of the permanent collection of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Centre Georges Pompidou/Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (Paris) and the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.
In 1972 she also started an intensive collaboration in the field of film with the Scottish artist Elsa Stansfield in London and Amsterdam. Their first movie, Een van die dagen (One of Those Days) was broadcasted in the Netherlands in 1973.
Under the name Stansfield/Hooykaas they made their first video installations from 1975 onwards and are regarded as European video pioneers. For thirty-two years Hooykaas and Stansfield worked together and produced over hundred and fifty works, until Elsa Stansfield died unexpectedly in 2004. Work by Stansfield/Hooykaas is included in various international museum collections.
The installations and films of Hooykaas/Stansfield have been exhibited in e.g. Montreal, Sydney (Biennale), Chicago, Madrid, Reykjavik, Kassel (Documenta), the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Bremen, Hanover, Berlin, Sheffield, Washington D.C., Lucerne, London (Whitechapel Gallery), Toronto, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Stockholm, Dundee and Hafnarfjordur.
Recently Madelon Hooykaas produced various video installations and audio works, first under the name Stansfield/Hooykaas and now under her own name.
In 2009 she travelled again to Japan to stay in a Zen monastery. In 2010 she made two films about this second visit – Zazen nu/Zazen now and Het Pad/The Path, both screened by The Buddhist Broadcasting Foundation – and she published the photo book Zazen nu (Zazen now) which includes an essay by Nico Tydeman.
In 2010 she edited the book Revealing the Invisible – The Art of Stansfield/Hooykaas from Different Perspectives. This standard work about the oeuvre of Hooykaas and Stansfield contains international contributions by Malcolm Dickson, Dorothea Franck, Nicole Gingras, Heiner Holtappels, David F. Peat, Janneke Wesseling, Kitty Zijlmans and others.
Her recent works include:
Mount Analogue, (2010), single channel video installation with drawing
Revealing the Invisible I, (2011), triptych, drawing, hologram, photo, commissioned by the Department of Neurology, AMC, Amsterdam, NL
Underground, (2012), single channel video installation