Ik hou van je, Nederlands.
I know where I come from, and I know the feeling which circulates through my body like calm current whenever I find myself there. If I had to picture that feeling, I’d want Kooi holding the camera. Her subjects exist organically in their setting, exhibiting a rare resolve and eccentric exuberance which seem to feed off the energy of their just-barely-above-sea-level environs.
The network of dykes for which Holland is famous figure prominently in Kooi’s work, and her subjects are acknowledging of a relationship, almost of an active dialogue, between the tenuous situation of the landscape and their own survival. If climate change threatens any nation, few have more to lose than the one Kooi so reverently portrays here.
Nevertheless, Kooi shows the Netherlands in its quirky majesty, lovingly bearing its citizens up with a whimsy and a will which yet endures. From that humble vista one catches a glimpse, not of what’s to come, but of where these people have come from.