Looking Up / Looking Down

Anne Geene, Arjan de Nooy, Diana Scherer

March 18 - April 15
Opening event on March 18 at 4 pm with introduction by Kees Moeliker, director of the Natuurhistorisch Museum te Rotterdam.

In the exhibition Looking Up / Looking Down  Seelevel will show Ornithology by Anne Geene and Arjan de Nooy and Diana Scherer’s Interwoven – Exercises in Rootsystem Domestication. 

Both projects show a scientific approach to nature without actually aspiring to be scientific. Therefore their scientific approach is mainly used in an artistic way. However, some findings appear to be interesting for science. For example Diana Scherer is collaborating for her research with biologists and ecologists of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.
Within their work, the artists work in series and use photography as their main medium to collect and capture their findings.


Interwoven – Exercises in Rootsystem Domestication 

In her work Interwoven Scherer focuses her fascination on the dynamics of underground plant parts. The root system, with its hidden, subterranean life is regarded by plant neurobiologists as the brains of the plants. In 2015 Diana Scherer began to apply the “intelligence” of plants in her work. Scherer also wants to make these hidden subterranean processes visible at all times.

In collaboration with biologists Scherer went looking for a technique to control the growth of plant roots. In the work Harvest the natural network of the root system turns into an artificial textile. During the growing process the roots assimilate to underground templates and weave or braid the material itself. She looks at the root system as if it were from yarn.

The botanical models are captured with a technical photographic camera at the end of the process. With the aid of the photographic medium the work is preserved and treasured, it is also greatly enlarged, by which details become visible that would not have been able to detect with the naked eye.

Interwoven #2, 2016, soil/seed/photography, fine art print, 140 x 80 cm

Diana Scherer, born in Lauingen/Germany studied fine Art and photography at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. Scherer has shown her work in solo and group exhibitions in Paris, Hyeres, Amsterdam, Berlin and Seoul among others. Her work Interwoven has been critically acclaimed and has recently won the New Material Award. In the upcoming months Scherer will also exhibit her project at Fotodok and in Het Nederlands Fotomuseum among others.



Ornithology refers to the scientific study of birds, including their physiology, classification, ecology, and behaviour. Due to their visibility and often colourful appearance, birds are a popular object in both science and the visual arts – photography in particular. With their pseudo-scientific approach hunter-collectors Geene and De Nooy defy the borders between these disciplines. Their classification of bird pictures exhibits the humorous outcome of creative and associative thinking, with every section of Ornithology opening new perspectives on birds.

Geene and De Nooy manifest themselves as rare birds in the world of bird photography, dominated as it is, by people with the ‘classic’ aesthetic view. Many of the subjects they shot are dead, but some are representations. Some appear as building materials, some merely as their droppings. Ornithology may be seen both as a photographer’s study of birds and as an ornithologist’s photographic research.


Anne Geene and Arjan de Nooy – Camouflage

Anne Geene (1983) studied photography at the Royal Academy in The Hague and  at Sint Joost, Breda after which she did the Master Photographic Studies at Leiden University. With the help of photographs Geene investigates, collects, archives and aranges the world around her. In 2014, Geene won the ING Unseen Talent Award. Her work is included in various private as well as public collections, among which Het Nederlands Fotomuseum and ING Art Collection. Together with Arjan de Nooy she forms the artist duo AAfotowerken.

Arjan de Nooy (1965) received a PhD in Chemistry before he started studying photography at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. He works both with his own photographs as well as with found material. An ongoing project is a fictional history of  Dutch photography, in which both oeuvres and biographies of fictional photographers are presented as contemplative texts. Parts of this project can be found on  denooycollection.com and in the publications De facto (2009), Haarscherp (2012) and Party Photographer (2014).