Martin Luijendijk contemporary artist

Line 7, a world tour


Tram line 7 in Rotterdam runs straight through the city, from the deprived district of Spangen in the West through a series of old districts and the modern city centre to prosperous Kralingen in the East. One end is near the stadium of Sparta football team, the other end near Excelsior. The districts one passes through have a highly varied population as regards nationality, cultural background and income. The streets the tram passes through have a great variety of shops, ranging from a bakery to a jewellery shop, an Islamic butcher to a Hindustan clothes shop, a shop selling second-hand goods to a chic restaurant, etc., etc.

Detailed interior photographs were made of a diverse series of these shops. The photographs invariably show a lot of the wares present. From the upper left to the bottom right and from the bottom left to the upper right the picture is filled with goods that can be viewed in detail one by one.

No people were portrayed, yet they are present indirectly. The presence of individual people is visible in the way the owner or licensee has arranged the shop and displayed the goods, and of groups of people in the type of product this group buys. In its diversity, the entire series of 25 photographs is a reflection of the greater part of the city’s entire population.