Ode to the Railway Bridge (1999) Otto Snoek
On September 15, 1993, the Willemsspoortunnel was opened. As a result, the Willemspoorbrug, which from 1877 to 1994 carried the rail route from the city center over the Nieuwe Maas to Rotterdam South, was taken out of service. The railway bridge had five characteristic arches and, together with De Hef, formed part of this so-called Luchtspoor. De Hef was able to be preserved as a monument, but in 1994 the demolition of the railway bridge was soon started. Otto Snoek intensively photographed the aftermath and dismantling of this metropolitan part of his hometown of Rotterdam. In 1999, as a tribute to the Willemspoor Bridge, the panoramic photo Ode to the Railway Bridge mounted on the blind side wall of the residential block on the Maaskade. Located at the former North Island bridgehead, this block shows the bridge and its distinctive arches in the fog. In 2022, the photo was replaced by a new print in collaboration with Woonstad Rotterdam.
Photographer Otto Snoek (Rotterdam, 1966) studied at the St. Joost art academy in Breda. He shoots autonomous documentary. Lovingly, but also ruthlessly, he shows people in their living environment and tries to make cohesion visible. In his photography, Rotterdam is often the starting point and reference when working outside its city limits. Snoek unabashedly shows the brutality of contemporary urban and leisure culture. The images arise from a compelling view. His works, which tell increasingly complex stories, have been shown in numerous exhibitions across Europe. In the long-running project Nation he examines how the different identities of European citizens manifest themselves at public events, thereby attempting to document the long and complex process of European integration. He has made several publications such as Rotterdam/Dresden (2020) Ukrainian crossroads (2014) in WHY NOT (2009). He has photographed many images in public space for this BKOR website.