Nico Bick sent me his recent limited edition (400) artist book/portfolio of his work PI (Penitentiary Institution) from one of Hollands most well known prisons. As you can imagine, prison cells are both fascinating and frightening and Nico has had access to these interiors and through his typological approach avoids the usual pathos around such places and lets them tell their own stories by the very subtle differences we can discover in the series' which at first glance seem to show the same space; which, in a sense, they do. His camera makes no differentiation between holding cells, residencies, guards quarters or communal spaces. They all become spaces built purely for function but have taken on subtleties of humanity through the years.
While the six towers of the Penitentiary Institution 'Over-Amstel' form an important landmark in the urban landscape of Amsterdam, the interior of these buildings are for most people unknown territory. The culture of a closed institution dictates that what happens within it may not be seen. However, Nico Bick was granted access into the most well know prison – known loacally as the 'Bijlmerbajes' – in the Netherlands. From 2006 until 2009 he meticulously photographed cells of prisoners, isolation cells, communal rooms, control rooms, etc. but also the concrete perimeter wall that circumferences the entire complex. We can view this work as an inventory, an investigation of spatial diversity, a dissection of functionality and a typology of confinement.
The interesting edition is the special one. It comes with a 24x30 cm C-print, edition of 25.
The special edition costs 160 euro,-.
special edition image, Nico Bick, PI.
Best get them here.