The Dream Vehicle
Project by Anna Witkowska & Rob Verbunt
We are Anna Witkowska and Rob Verbunt. A Netherlands based artist duo performing our first photographic collaboration: ‘The Dream Vehicle’ that we kicked off in 2018. This website is dedicated to the project, in images and words.
In The Dream Vehicle, we embark on a journey through the Benelux with a newly purchased car. Our plan to launch a photographic quest into a deeper understanding of the adult male-female relationship, makes us, once en route, the very object of the investigation. While facing each other’s longings and fears, we become a reflection for one another. A mirror of each other’s worlds.
The road trip becomes an ultimate form. As we describe it: “The road trip is a metaphor for life. And our emotionally charged partnership works even as a metaphor for marriage”.
The ideal setting for our photographic storytelling is found in the landscapes of nearby Belgium and Luxembourg. There, on and off the road, we literally ‘insert’ ourselves in each other’s picture. And translate our feelings through choice of scenery, light, position of our bodies. In either found or constructed decors, we show the glimpse of our emotions. Inviting the viewer behind the scenes of our worlds. A demonstration of a journey through light and shadows, pushing the limits of artistic freedom.
The car, a classic Volvo specially bought for the journey, becomes an important device in this project. It is not only pointed to carry us in a physical sense. It also becomes a vehicle that carries all the emotional content we face and share while traveling. A romantic symbol of short term happiness. A fleeting of a moment. Of life that goes by.
As Photo Academy graduates, we both were drawn to each other’s work around 2016. When Rob recalled at an exhibition where we first met, that Anna’s self-portraits looked like a female version of his own work.
This drew us to discussions on a joint project. As self-portraitists, the initial intention of the collaboration, would be to hand over control. To give up the self-image to the other. Gradually our motivation shifts to the portrayal of vulnerability and intimacy. Where the adventure begins as an exploration of form and identity, it soon dares us to question whether the loving heart solely beats to suffer.
In The Dream Vehicle we, Anna and Rob, live and renew our ideas about love, individuality and happiness.
While the photographic outcome instigates many matters to philosophize about, we deliver written poetry with our findings. These writings contain undiluted experiences that, together with an expanding snapshot diary, leave no situation undocumented.
Anna Witkowska (Poland, 1976) is an Amsterdam based multidisciplinary artist and photographer. Originally graduated as Ceramics Designer at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poland, she finally finds her visual language as an artist in autonomous photography and film. She graduates from the Photo Academy in Amsterdam.
Her work, contemplating the transitory quality of time, space and being, tells a story of a human who reflects on his presence. ‘My work raises questions about our relation towards space and incites the never-ending reflection on our actual place in the world. I display this through wide staged symbolic scenes and the use of solitary human figures placed within.’
Rob Verbunt (The Hague, 1970) originally focused on a career as an advertising draftsman. After being involved in music and writing, he eventually graduates at Photo Academy Rotterdam. Rob’s autonomous visual work, characterized by the use of pinhole technology, covers themes such as individuality, sadness, intimacy and trust.
‘With my work I draw a poetic line between pain and pleasure. It is not uncommon for me to participate in my images as a set piece, telling or experiencing the story’.
Thank you for traveling along with us. If you have any questions or feedback, we love to receive that. Go to our contact page.
Anna Witkowska, Rob Verbunt 2023