My work centres on the status and impact of media images and the ways in which they enter and determine our collective memory. How images can construct an imago or how they sustain or shape our narratives and worldviews, especially documentary images with a claim to truth. I hope my work makes people wonder about what they see, how they see it and how we are usually conditioned to see within a narrow perspective. My photographic works are fantasies based on facts- but facts made up of complex relations. By doing so I try to analyse the different visual strategies and styles of image-making that frame subjects and ideas.

In more recent works, the work itself tries to frame it’s subject in more subjective ways, playing with it’s history and present mediatised status quo.

Work in collections    

Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam

Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris 

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen 

Dutch Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations

Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture & Science

Royal Dutch Embassy in South Africa, Pretoria

Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs

E & L Dommering Collectie

Collectie Piet & Ida Sanders

Prentenkabinet University Leiden 

H+F Collection

Collectie Reyn van der Lugt 

Paleis van Justitie Arnhem 

De Nederlandse Bank

Rabobank Nederland

ABNAmro Bank Art Collection



21- ongoing

Steenbergen Stipendium Jury member


Commission member at the Mondriaan Foundation, Amsterdam


Tutor at AKV St.Joost Masters, Documentary Strategies, Breda


Artez Arnhem, extern gecommiteerde eindexam., Fine art Dept.


Workshop at African Artist’ Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria


Lecture at Market Photo Workshop, Johannesburg, South Africa


Workshop ‘Research in Motion’, TU Delft, Delft 


Reviews, publications, mediacoverage


Mouvement #117 Magazine Paris, portfolio review


NRC Handelsblad, 25 nov, Caleidoscopisch portret van een NAVO-icoon, Thomas van Huut


Artpress # 438, Between Art and Politics, Jong Chul Choi


NRC Handelsblad, 14 feb, Lucette ter Borg


H Art Magazine, Jorre Both


NRC Handelsblad, 13 juni, Politiek Docudrama, Tracy Metz 


TV Avro Kunstuur, 4Art: Hedendaagse kunst, 22 juni, Bart Rutten


Parool, 20 juni, text Kees Keijer


Foam Magazine, portfolio, tekst Ilse van Rijn


‘Afterwards. ‘Contemporary Photography Confronting the Past’, edited by Nathalie Herschdorfer, published by Thames & Hudson 


‘Photography!’, a Special Collection at Leiden University


‘Images Recalled’, text by Christiane Kuhlmann, Kehrer Verlag 


Fotografie in het Stedelijk - De Geschiedenis v.e. Collectie, Hripsimé Visser, Rik Suermondt, Nai Publishers


‘Photo Art’, Fotografie im 21.Jahrhundert, Uta Grosenick & Thomas Seelig, Dumont Verlag 


‘Eigenlijk Eigentijds’, Art Collection Dutch National Bank 


‘The Lost Moment’, by BikvanderPol & Fatosh Uztek 


‘Dutch Eyes’, A Critical History of Photography in the Netherlands., Flip Bool, Mattie Boom, Frits Gierstberg 


‘Turkye’, De Gids#12, text Lex ter Braak


FORUM DIPLOMATIK, Fotografcilar Platform’da, June 16th 


Time Out Istanbul, text Elem Tugce Oktay


L’Ecole du Nord/Netherlands Now, Editions du Regard, Willem van Zoetendaal / Maison Européenne de Photographie, Paris 


Reflect#4, Documentaire Nu!, Nai Publishers


In sight, Contemporary Dutch Photography from the Collection of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam 


Oponthoud/Delay, Nai Publishers


Les Cahiers du Fonds National Art Contemporain #1, tekst Catherine Francblin 


Life in a Glass House, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, tekst Renske Janssen 


‘Juul Hondius’, by Sven Lütticken, Art Forum, sept. 2003


Kunst in de Hoftoren, Ministerie OCW & Atelier Rijksgebouwendienst 


Reality Machines, Mirroring the Real in Contemporary Dutch Architecture, Photography and Design, Nai Publishers


VPRO - R.A.M.  TV reportage over het werk van Hondius door Fons Dellen.


‘A Complex Newspaper’, design Thomas Buxó, text Patrice Joly, Christel Vesters, published by Artimo 


Vrij Nederland, ‘Een zigeunermeisje ontroerd niet’, text Kees Schaepman




Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam Art Fund


Netherlands Film Fund


Mondriaan Fund


Stichting Dommering Fonds


Mondriaan Fund


Stichting Sem Presser Archief


Fonds BKVB grants


Juul Hondius shifts pictures

4 European cities, 4 directors, 29 filmscreenings

The Shifting Pictures film festival showcases European cinema that addresses contemporary societal issues. Four directors and their films will visit Prague, Belgrade, Bucharest, and Amsterdam. The festival aims to reflect on the inner threats facing Europe, such as the rise of right-wing politics, populism, and the challenges surrounding identity.​prague/

Shifting Pictures is an initiative by De Balie


The film revolves around the large star-shaped steel sculpture that has stood in front of NATO headquarters in Brussels since 1971: an iconic monument observed from a documentary perspective that opens up a critical reflection on the media power of images and how these visual strategies determine our lives.


Previously in the media> Kaleidoscopic portrait of a NATO icon (text by Thomas van Huut in NRC 25.11.2021, original written in Dutch)
’ “It depends on who you mean by the enemy … if you mean the Russians, I haven’t seen them here yet.” A Dutch soldier stationed in Lithuania by NATO to “show that we are here” is just one of the many characters that artist/photographer Juul Hondius portrays in his fiction documentary To Unveil a Star (2021), a 54-minute search for the meaning of the giant rusty steel sculpture at NATO headquarters in Brussels. Hondius sketches a kaleidoscopic portrait of the image that has reached millions of living rooms via televisions for fifty years. He uses, among other things, archive footage of NATO meetings and speeches and personal family films of demonstrations against nuclear weapons. He also speaks to NATO employees and the artist who did not receive recognition. In between, Hondius mounts images of cockchafers crawling up from the ground around the image. Is the statue “the glorification of Western domination,” “a beacon of safety,” or a “symbol of a willingness to destroy others”? Probably all at once.
Nothing in the film is what it seems. Some of the conversations have been staged, performed by actors. Other parts are shot with real people. The film meanders between fact and fiction, between the personal and geopolitical, between bombastic and subdued. The game with fact and fiction confuses, you don’t know exactly what you are looking at, but at the same time Hondius gives you the idea that he is showing you a true portrait of the image. “We change when the world changes,” says the NATO general. The steel image remains the same, but is also different each time. The nature images of May beetles (in some areas a plague that kills entire forests) are masterful: they are, among other things, a metaphor for the silently watching Earth, another layer of time, the ‘geo-’ in ‘geopolitics’. At one point, a cockchafer opens its armor to take off from the cane of a soldier in uniform. Phenomenal.’


Juul Hondius reads Aminas Briefe


‘In einem Bus hat auch alles angefangen. Damals wusste ich nicht, dass ich krank war, ich dachte bloß, ich würde mich langweilen.’


Publisher Klett-Cotta Verlag has used a detail from the image ‘Maboge’ for the cover of the great novel ‘Aminas Briefe’ by Jonas T. Bengtsson. ISBN 978-3-608-50100-1


Juul Hondius Sails Asleep

I got so close in 1992. 

The distance was less than ten nautical miles. I was on board the fishing trawler UK136 with it’s crew from the former island of Urk. We sailed over the North Sea and the wind was building up. Wind force 7 to 8 Beaufort, high waves for 72hrs. The captain was praying out loud for the crew at every dinner time in the galley. During the second night in the gale he spoke of finding a safe harbour at the island of Helgoland. I had never heard of it. While manoeuvring the fishing trawler over the dark seas, in his strong Urker dialect the captain told me all about it.

The island Helgoland is an about sixty meters high, red rock in the middle of the German Bight. It used to be an U-Boot naval base. Ideal for movies scenery. Today it is alive with people and birds. Too many birds.

Meanwhile on the fishing vessel, the raging storm wasn’t raging enough to make the captain decide to seek a safer place. He had to catch as much fish as he could with his ship and crew. 

Helgoland has been on my mental horizon ever since. Now I will sail there alone with the Tissum, straight through the sea passage between Den Helder and Texel’s Mokbaai. They say that if you can sail the German Bight, you can sail anywhere in the world.

Even asleep.


Juul Hondius dreams an estuary

The small coastal village Pereque near Santos, in Brasil.  A river full of life flows along the beach into the sea. Sweet water meets the salt. The smell of rotten fish and algea. 

Estuary zones with tidal rythms have always been my place to be. Thousands of bright red sandcrabs take a good look at me. They disappear all at once when I land with my feet on the sand.  

The fishermen living in this little paradise struggle because of the competition from the industrial fishing fleets that operate in their regional waters. At night in the bar they wonder out loud if they should make the shift towards piracy. 


Juul Hondius shares a hexagonal view

We arrive just after opening hours but the kind operator lets us enter the crazy shaped elevator in the Azadi Tower in Tehran. The submerged entrance resembles a 70ties James Bond movie set. The elevator rattles to the top and the noise of city traffic is far away. We are the only guests in the top of the tower, where lamps divide the space in different colors.

Hexagonal windows provide a great view of the snowy high peaks north of the city, they ablaze in the setting sun. All the traffic on the square below us suddenly comes to a stop on the roundabout and then all traffic disappears in different directions. 

A motorcade with about twenty cars moves on to the square. I know there is a summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum going on where Vladimir Putin is the main guest. The cars stop to take a look up at the Azadi Tower. His deadpan face appears in a car window. We look back from the top of the tower. Vladimir Vladimirovich closes his window and continues with his escort to the airport. The rear lights of the motorcade seem to create the shape a Russian Orthodox cross. 


Descending through the narrow stairways I experience the totality of the tower’s design. The stairwell has been designed in such a perfect way in chiseled dark granite that it makes me dizzy. The history of the Shayad or Azadi Tower is politically charged and yet I experience the design as something completely new, as if nothing of the history can stick to the building.

 In an interview, the Tower’s architect Hossein Amanat compares “her” to a child whose life destination is unknown at birth. She came of age in the late 1970s, due to the revolution and regime change, she was given a different name when her role suddenly changed. Or is this a typical case of “Architectomancy” similar to “Geomancy”, through which practitioners of wizardry prognosticated the future via geometric shapes or other magical phenomena, was practiced in Iran long ago. Also, according to the late archeologist and historian Arthur Upham Pope, Iranian architecture has always been “magical and invocational in character.” He called it “guiding with a formative motif of cosmic symbolism by which man was brought into communication and participation with the powers of Heaven.” Often Westerners write about “Oriental exoticism” to engender mystic enthusiasm in their readers, but rarely do they believe in their scientific validity. This time Shahyad did perform magic as the unexpected really took place.” – Morteza Baharloo, “Shahyad (Azadi), A Monument of Many Faces,” in Art Lies

Photo by Martine Stig


Juul Hondius Meets Andre Kuipers

After years of intense preparation, the Dutch international space organisation NED Space, directed by Kuno Terwindt and Juul Hondius, is on the verge of an historic event. On June 19th 1998, after a nine years voyage, the first images from the Dutch Beaver-1 space probe loom from the surface of the planet Pluto and are shown live in the W139 Space Center in Amsterdam.​watch?v=zjpO5VrSOXg


Juul Hondius sends a message

‘They appeared overnight, without warning. Stark, black-and-white posters of young Romanies captioned with anti-racist slogans were plastered on the walls and corners, heralding one of the most aggresive anti-racist campaigns ever seen in Prague. In the Czech Republic, public anti-racism campaigns were practically non-existent at the time of this campaign tried to put the subject in the spotlight. Afterwards, other campaigns with a more positive approach have followed. But in a sadly ironic twist, the posters quickly became victims of their message, ripped to shreds within days of their unveiling - thus painting the most vivid picture of intolerance and racism here. And for the campaign’s author, that was the whole point.’  

(text by Emma McClune for Prague Post, June 1997)​en/​article/​18379


Juul Hondius won’t be turned

I am about 11 years old. Together with a friend and our father’s, we go to The Hague with half a million people to protest against nuclear weapons, against NATO.

We gathered at the bus station. It felt like an adventure, a school trip. I didn’t know the script of a demonstration yet. “Now all lie down!”someone shouts through a megaphone next to me. We are imitating a nuclear war. In a strange position, lying on middle of the road of the street, with your mouth half open. After a few minutes you get up again.

I remember the encouraging looks of adults when they see the text on our banner. It was all so clear, because we were right and the other half of the Netherlands were not, it was just a matter of time before they would all realize that.

I was certain.


Juul Hondius questions knock-out

After playing for hours in the snow on a cold February morning in 1976, something in the newspaper made me suspicious. There was a reportage about the Empress Farah Diba, wife of the Shah of Persia and her visit to the Queen of Spain. But I couldn’t care less about the royals! What interested me was the illustrated article about the knock-out of Jean-Pierre Coopman by Muhammed Ali in the fifth round in Manila.