Any resemblance to existing persons is purely coincidental
Stories of Mr. Wood

Client: own initiative, in collaboration with Martine Stig, essay: Maria Barnas
Year: 2004–2006
Publisher: Revolver, Frankfurt
Presentation: Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam, with Norman Klein (California
Institute of the Arts, L.A.), 2006
Purchased by: Nederlands Fotomuseum, 2008

In this project, Van Dam and Stig investigate the conventions of telling a story. Starting point is the classical way of telling a story – the Hollywood way – and how this construction determines the way we put the things we see and experience in order. The project consists of telling two different versions of one story. One set in Los Angeles (Hollywood) and one in Mumbai (Bollywood). The story is formed by pieces of documented reality, obtained by following a self-made method, arranged by the rules of a classic (Hollywood) story.

This method consists of a set of rules telling us day by day what to do to gain information. It is an almost scientific method of visualizing our way of looking and experiencing. The first day we find out what Mr Wood looks like, the second day where he works, the third where he lives. The following days we focus on his social life, his dreams, and his memories, etc. Within ten days a character is formed. Obviously, the Los Angeles scenario and the Mumbai one unfold differently. We asked Maria Barnas to write an essay, narrating the point of view of Mr Wood. The book has been presented at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam in 2006.

Norman Klein

Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam