The Chosen Ones

Doi: https://doi.org/10.47659/m6.043.2.pro

Hendrik Zeitler, born in 1975 in Hamm, Germany, lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden. He studied photography at the universities in Dortmund, Germany and in Gothenburg, Sweden, and holds a master’s degree in 2003. He has exhibited internationally, including the international art biennial in Gothenburg, Artipelag and CFF in Stockholm, the Nordic Watercolour Museum and at Hippolyte gallery in Helsinki. Since 2011, Zeitler has self-published four books with the publisher Journal Photobooks, and has contributed to a number of other books. Two of these were nominated for the Swedish Photobook award and two won the annual award for Swedish book design. Hendrik Zeitler currently works as a teacher at the Valand Academy of Arts in Gothenburg and is a board member of the Swedish Association of Professional Photographers, Swedish Photobook authors, Hammarkullen Konsthall, Gallery Box and the festival Photobook Gbg. In 2019, he also participated in an artistic research project about cameraless photography.

Hendrik Zeitler, born in 1975 in Hamm, Germany, lives and works in Gothenburg, Sweden. He studied photography at the universities in Dortmund, Germany and in Gothenburg, Sweden, and holds a master’s degree in 2003. He has exhibited internationally, including the international art biennial in Gothenburg, Artipelag and CFF in Stockholm, the Nordic Watercolour Museum and at Hippolyte gallery in Helsinki. Since 2011, Zeitler has self-published four books with the publisher Journal Photobooks, and has contributed to a number of other books. Two of these were nominated for the Swedish Photobook award and two won the annual award for Swedish book design. Hendrik Zeitler currently works as a teacher at the Valand Academy of Arts in Gothenburg and is a board member of the Swedish Association of Professional Photographers, Swedish Photobook authors, Hammarkullen Konsthall, Gallery Box and the festival Photobook Gbg. In 2019, he also participated in an artistic research project about cameraless photography.

I started working with the images in my series The Chosen Ones in 2002, completing it in 2015. Originally, I was driven by the idea to take pictures of individuals who don’t even have any understanding of being depicted. And by the question if the images could still be perceived as portraits lacking one of the cornerstones of portrait photography – agreement between the photographer and the subject as manifested through direct eye contact with the camera. After some time, I started working with animals in the dairy industry – cows, calves and a bulls. I moved my large format camera and my studio lighting to the places where they spend most of their lives, being part of a system that promises in its advertisement that there is “always summer and they’re always more than willing to give their milk to us humans,” as Camilla Flodin writes in her text “In the eyes of the other” that accompanies the book The Chosen Ones published in 2016.

Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0330.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0330.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0349.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0349.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0354.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0354.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0362.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0362.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0365.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0365.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0366.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0366.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0368.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0368.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0372.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0372.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0473.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 0473.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1123.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1123.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1126.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1126.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1279.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1279.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1942.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1942.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1985.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 1985.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 3254.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 3254.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5342.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5342.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5354.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5354.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5464.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5464.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5491.
Hendrik Zeitler: The Chosen Ones, no. 5491.
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Originally, I was driven by the idea to take pictures of individuals who don't even have any understanding of being depicted.
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