Michael Ten Pas



The world reveals irony and absurdity; it contains mystery and humor and is full of ambiguity and illusion. The world is playing a friendly joke on me, and I want to return it in kind. Looking at the world humorously is a way to engage with it. As we relegate the world’s mundane places to the status of non-place, their banality and our transient encounters with them make them insignificant. However, their physical presence is undeniable in our landscape. They are all around, but we don’t know what to make of them, or we choose to make nothing of them. This paradoxical relationship allows me to coax comedy and mystery out of the everyday. My photographs are about my encounters with the humor and conundrums of everyday life in the world’s overlooked, ordinary places. While making these photographs, I explore and connect with my immediate surroundings by taking a closer look. A closer look asks, “Is the situation actually normal?”

Selected by Anne Lyden, International Photography Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland.