I have always been interested in the unreal, that which lies beneath the surface: the history and context of a place. Or the locus of a particular history. Although my medium is photography, which in itself carries the connotation of objectivity, I choose subjects that are ambiguous and not easily translated into imagery. That’s how I create space to interpret and project.

The notion of being able to capture reality in photographs is of course an illusion, but a persistent and interesting one: a photograph will always suggest that what it shows was in fact there. My work reflects my conviction that there is no such thing as the history or the truth and that any knowledge we have of the past lies in a subjective fabrication of what may have happened someplace, sometime. History exists by virtue of specific interpretations and projections and is thus politically, morally and religiously biased. In fact, that is exactly what my work is about: how the (possible) history of a place influences and distorts one’s perception of it.


Sanne Peper (born in 1963) lives and works in Amsterdam. She majored in fine arts at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem and studied photography at the Academy for Art and Industry (AKI) in Enschede. As a visual artist she creates subjective renderings of a (possible) history of places in urban areas as well as portrayals of the sublime: wonderful but dreadful examples of nature such as the dystopian Trinity site near Los Alamos, USA; the post-apocalyptic area around Chernobyl, Ukrain; the political landscape of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan and the ghost-ridden, 'Christ-haunted' landscapes of the Deep South of the United States.

As a theatre photographer she works for numerous theater companies based in The Netherlands and Belgium including Dood Paard, Oostpool, Jakop Ahlbom, STAN and Toneelgroep Amsterdam. Her other clients in the cultural sector include the Mediafonds (Amsterdam), the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (The Hague), ArtEZ Fashion Masters (Arnhem), OMA (Rotterdam), and Maison Martin Margiela (Paris). She is also a guest lecturer at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture and The Royal Academy of Arts (The Hague).