Passing Time

With Frans Hofmeester



Artist, photographer and filmmaker from Netherland, is the father of two children who have made him known to the whole world.

How did the idea to document the growth of your children?

Everything started in 1999, the year my daughter Lotte was born. The changes I noticed in the way my daughter looked between two days and two weeks old surprised me. I thought “I’m gonna forget these changes”. She was changing at such a rapid pace, that I felt the need to document the way she looked, to keep my memories intact. The reactions of the family and friends where enough for me to continue this project. So when my son Vince was born I started to film him too.

Nothing to do with a kind of obsession or anxiety about passing time?

I saw the change trough time with my own eyes. A change within only 14 days! Time changes are messing with our memories. Is that what we remember always true? I just didn’t wanna misguided by my memory.

It was always easy to convince them to pose?

I started filming her portrait in sessions of about ten seconds every three days or something like that. A copple of months later on I developed this rhythm of filming her every week. Sometimes they did not feel like it. Then I said “Just a second. Tell me about your ball game, did you win or lose?”. That way I stalled them so I could complete the shot.


What’s the purpose of your work?

Making an edit for the family and friends on the birthdays of the children became a special moment and a sort of ritual. Than came the question what to do with this films and edits out of my world. It would be great if the long version of the film could be displayed in a gallery or a museum. This would give people the opportunity to watch Lotte’s development without haste. It was about 30 minutes, a time not suitable for the web, so I had to speed it up and make a nice tune to. In April 2012 we decided to post the films on Vimeo and a few days later on YouTube.

Your portfolio also includes some drawings. Don’t you think that photography, painting or video recordings look away a bit from what is a pure enjoy the moments of our existence?

Sure. Right. Pure rock climbing for example can’t be felt more than doing the thing (climbing) itself. Foto’s or film isn’t the same than experience a real climb outside.

If we had the power to stop time for ever, and all its actions on the world, do you think we would live more calm?

I think so. Yes.

It seems that your children are very proud of their father’s work. Will you teach them your vision of things?

I hope so for a bit. I’m thinking of things like music and art… But! Like a prophet said:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.


Frans H


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