De Meelfabriek (flour factory) – Leiden

This is the place where ‘the magic happens’. From 2013 I’ve been filming here. Series like Natures Mortes (2013-2015), Respice Finem (2017-2018), and now Homo Bulla (2019-2020) were created here.

Unfortunately, everything comes to an end. The dismantling and construction of the Meelfabriek, as part of the redevelopment into a complex of homes, businesses and a hotel, is in full swing. I will be able to work here until autumn 2020.

Homo Bulla in art

The Homo Bulla theme in art has existed for centuries. On seventeenth-century vanitas paintings and engravings by Jan Steen, Barent Fabritius, and Hendrik Goltzius children blow soap bubbles or they fill pig’s bladders with air. You may think it seems innocent child amusement, the opposite is true. This is a warning about the fleeting nature of life. Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden owns a vanitas painting by David Bailly from 1651. Here, too, the soap bubbles point to the shortness of existence before they burst.

Vanitas painting by David Bailly from 1651. With soap bubbles and skull.
Collection Museum De Lakenhal

November 3, 2019 – filmshoots Nocturnes and The Last Waltz

Soap bubbles professionals Saskia Marges and Jeroen Maatman from Bubblusion came to Leiden. For the series The Last Waltz they created special smoke bubbles. For the series Nocturnes they made a.o. ‘clustered’ shapes.

In The Last Waltz one session was filmed simultaneously from three different points of view. This resulted in three testimonies of one event.

In Nocturnes two films were shot in the former boiler room, one after the other. The other was shot on the fifth floor of the same building.

Former boiler house 2nd floor, Saskia Marges and Jeroen Maatman (Bubblusion)
Former boiler house 5th floor, from left to right myself, cameramen Gerald Jager, David Brouwer

July 31, 2019 – film recordings We Float II, III, IV

It thundered and rained hard. In the warehouse and silo building was huge leakage. We made use of that.

De S in de meelfabriek
Filmshoot We Float IV in the ‘S’ of the flour factory, highest point of the silos
Former warehouse, 2nd floor, cameraman Jan Stap
Filmopnamen voor We float II, III en IV serie Homo Bulla in het pakhuis van de Meelfabriek.
Former warehouse, 1st floor, from left to right Otto Selis (caretaker mill), Jan Stap, Winand Stut, Elsbeth Klink