Car Beach is part of Dutch photographer Bas Princen's Artificial Arcadia series. In this series the artist is concerned with the ways in which people spend their leisure time in "landscapes" whose original purpose is completely different from how they are being utilized, and, as the exhibition curators note, "at first glance, seem to offer no reason to do so." This limited-edition photograph was produced to coincide with the exhibition Nature as Artifice: New Dutch Landscape in Photography and Video Art, on view at Aperture Gallery on the occasion of the four-hundredth anniversary of the arrival of Henry Hudson to New York Harbor aboard the Dutch vessel Halve Maen.
In Car Beach, we see a shallow lagoon that has developed near the harbor in Rotterdam due to an industrial land extension that has changed the water currents. As a result, the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute issues wind alerts for kite surfing via SMS messages. For this image Princen set out with his large-format field camera to capture sporting enthusiasts experiencing the landscape in a way that has nothing to do with its natural state or beauty.
In 2004, Princen, who studied design, published forty-three of the photographs from this series in the book, Artificial Arcadia, further reflecting on the artificiality of the Dutch landscape.
Bas Princen was born in 1975 in Zeeland, The Netherlands. His work has been exhibited at AUT, Innsbruck; The Hauge; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen; and NAi, Rotterdam. He lives and works in Rotterdam.