Esther Polak and Ivar van Bekkum work together under the name PolakVanBekkum. They collaborate as an artist duo since 2010, their collaboration goes back as far as almost 25 years.
Esther Polak is educated in fine arts and painting at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam. Ivar van Bekkum is educated as journalist.
Since 2002 their work focusses on landscape and mobility.
Routed in the history of the Dutch realistic landscape depiction, they engage with new technologies like GPS and data collection, to express individual experiences of spaces like the contemporary city and countryside. They always search for changing ways to be in landscapes and how this influences the human understanding and perception of space and the stories we tell to explain our lives. Besides the digital and technological innovative, they use very concrete means of visualisation, like drawings in sand or light, which makes their work very tangible and direct. Their projects are often informed by collaborations with participants, be it humans, objects, or even the rays of the sun.
They have worked and exhibited internationally, at Transmediale Berlin, Ars Electronica Linz, ZKM Karlsruhe, London, IMAL Brussels, Rento Btattinga | Gallery Amsterdam, Museo for Image and Sound Sao Paolo, Nairobi, Lagos, Marrakech, Paris, Philadelphia Los Angeles and Queensland.
In 2005 Esther Polak did receive a Golden Nica for interactive Art at Ars Electronica together with Ieva Auzina, for their MILKproject.
Projects and works: Amsterdam Realtime, MilkProject, NomadicMILK, Souvenir Zeeland, Spiral Drawing Sunrise, Sand Tags, AbstractView, 250 miles Crossing Philadelphia