Horror Vacui - Tim van den Oudenhoven


Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon?


In his series Horror Vacui (Fear of the Void), Tim van den Oudenhoven (°1983) shows isolated nocturnal landscapes in a sea of black. This fear of the void, often described as a coping mechanism, is reflected by the use of intense black, a space that can no longer be filled. Black acts as the colour of negation, a destructive force that covers all or, as in Goethe’s colour theory, the result of a destruction. Like a black hole, everything gets sucked into it: how long will it take before the last light is extinguished and we are left with nothing but pitch black?

Contrary to traditional landscape photography, the details, the horizon and virtually every other element that could serve as a point of reference are completely absent here. A satisfactory orientation can only be achieved by employing the viewer’s own expectations about the landscape.

The small islands that are shown in the black void attract viewers and create the aesthetic, yet uncanny viewing experience. 

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