New, first edition
Softcover, 240 pp
- Published by Ydoc Publishing, 2012
When we cross a border, we enter a space where everything is done differently. We recognise immediately that this is a foreign country. Returning to the Netherlands, we also know in an instant when we are in our homeland again.
Wherever you go, a country's unique character is more clearly visible in its small towns than in its major cities. In small towns, France is more French, England is more English and Germany is more German. The Netherlands - Off the shelf by photographer Hans van der Meer is a project about typically Dutch small towns such as Lisse, Raalte, Drunen, Boskoop and Nieuw Vennep. Not metropolises but not villages either, these are places that may appear horribly mediocre to some but to others offer the highest possible quality of life.
Small towns that adopt the aspirations of cities - marketing slogans suggesting a great experience, an amazing future or outstanding business opportunities - appeal strongly to Van der Meer. In The Netherlands - Off the shelf, he captures this world from a stepladder, revealing the decor of people's lives as if seeing it for the first time.