Marleen Sleeuwits is particularly interested in the illusory character of depicted spaces. Or to put it more precisely: in and with her work she creates situations in which the viewer is confused by a realistic looking rendering of a space which is in itself entirely artificial. She draws her inspiration from anonymous work and living environments and places through which we move, without any identity of their own, which could be anywhere and nowhere: offices, hotels, airports, etc., where artificial light creates an atmosphere on which time has no hold. In her more recent work Sleeuwits builds new spaces (or sculptures) with materials from such spaces, such as laminate, dropped ceilings, parquet strips and fluorescent tubes, which she then photographs. The antitheses between real and artificial, actual and imitation, concrete and virtual, two- and three-dimensional create a visual experience that momentarily alienates the viewer from a sense of time and place. What am I actually seeing? What is the scale? Where am I? How should I be relating physically to the space that I see in front of me? This last question arises because Sleeuwits plays a game with another space-related aspect of photography, namely the way in which it builds a bridge between (or creates an alternative for) the space depicted and the space in which the viewer is. She creates a disorienting effect by fiddling with our perception of time, place and event, which no longer seem to exist as a unity.
Text by Frits Giersberg, Curator of The Nederlands Fotomuseum