Leuk, Oltheten & Kruithof, maar waarom samen?
17 April - 22 June 2014
group exhibition with artists: Anouk Kruithof, Elza Jo, Jaap Scheeren, Jan Hoek, Koen Hauser, Melanie Bonajo, Paul Kooiker, Stefan Ruitenbeek, Willem Popelier
The experience of our physical self and the way we present our physicality is a complex hard to unravel. The notion that the ‘Self’ is to a large extent a construct sometimes results in an alienation from one’s own body. Look for instance to the extremities of plastic surgery or body building. The body is objectified, considered to be ‘something else’, something that can be molded and altered according to one’s wishes. But there is also a need, perhaps more urgent than ever, to be ‘real’, a need to be authentic and unique. So influenced by social interaction and amplified by contemporary media, the representation of the body is trapped between subjectivism and (literary) objectivism.
In the exhibition The Space Between Us nine contemporary Dutch artists, all using photography and occasionally film or video, explore and exploit the meaning, value and representation of the human body. This is done through serious investigation, hilarious visual constructions and moving images. The body can be seen as a pure form, as flesh and blood, posing in the artist’s studio as a classical, formal object of study. At the same time it can be an object of the artist’s penetrating voyeuristic gaze fuelled by latent eroticism (Paul Kooiker). It can also be part of a satirical construct mocking gender and social obligations (Melanie Bonajo). In a hybrid mix of drawings and video we witness the transformation of the artist (Elza Jo) or we see the human body being used as seemingly lifeless material to be used as a piece of sculpture (Koen Hauser).
The artists cast a new and unexpected light on themes and issues that are of the utmost importance: the awareness and protection of our physical selves within a globalised and hugely media-driven society, the representation of the human body as a semantic artifact and the awareness of the human body as a constructing element within the notion of ‘Self’. Playful, ironic, visually captivating, utterly divers and multi-layered The Space Between Us is both a showcase for contemporary Dutch photography as an exhibition touching upon fundamental human and social complexities.
The Space Between Us has been made possible by Kleurgamma Amsterdam.
Felix &Foam wordt ondersteund door de BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Delta Lloyd, Gemeente Amsterdam en de VandenEnde Foundation.
Dutch newspaper ‘het Parool’ about the exhibitions of Paulien Oltheten and myself at STEDELIJK
read dutch conversation between curator assistant masha van vliet, paulien oltheten and myself about our exhibitions at STEDELIJK museum Amsterdam HERE
we will be in Philadephia tmrw for: PPAC Book Fair: March 29th & 30th 12-6pm. Underneath the schedule of talks. Christof Nuessli and myself will talk (sat 2.15 pm) about a project we worked on, called ‘the bungalow’ with Brad Feuerhelm ’s collection of vernaculair photos as a the source.
Please come by, thank you for organizing Christopher Gianunzio
Artist Talks/Presentations/ Events:
Alien She Panel Discussion/12-2pm
Anouk Kruithof+Christof Nüssli/ 2:15pm
Denise Wolff- Aperture Foundation/ 3:15pm
Thilde Jensen +Valerio Spada/4:15pm
Coffee & Doughnuts reception @ ICA table in celebration of their newest publications/12pm
Alien She Zine Workshop/ 12-2pm
Gerard Gaskin signing copies of “Legendary” @ The Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University table/ 2-5pm
Alex Klein, Kate Kraczon, Liz Park (ICA Philadelphia), and designer Mark Owens: “Animating the Archive: Excursus and ICA@50.”/ 1pm
Paul Salveson in conversation with Christopher Gianunzio/ 2:15pm
Christina Labey- Conveyor Arts/ 3:15pm
Rachel D’Agostino- Library Company/ 4:15pm
Melissa Catanese- Spaces Corners/ 5:15pm
I am part of the Dutch ‘Leerling-Meester project, which is organized by Kunstpodium T
check out for more info in Dutch here
happy birthday to you is part of 'the photobook: a history volume III by Martin Parr and Gerry Badger.
check the video here: http://vimeo.com/88775228
the book ’ the black hole’ by Jaap Scheeren and me is part of the festival 'fotografia europea 2014' in Reggio Emilia Italy, which takes place in May 2 till 4 2014
Anouk Kruithof’s Pixel-Stress is the kind of innovative, interdisciplinary project that is upending how we think about contemporary photography. Part Internet appropriation and rework, part public performance/installation, and part iterative photocollage, all wrapped up in an unconventional photobook form, it’s an exercise whose center lies at the confluence of these methods and forms, pushing and pulling on our expectations and definitions.
Kruitfhof began with a simple Google search for images related to “stress”, ultimately choosing 14 images which she appropriated, cropped and then enlarged to maximum size, turning the stock images of men and women staring at computer screens in head-in-hands disbelief into abstracted grids of pixelated color. These seas of morphing color were framed and brought out to the sidewalks of Wall Street, where she set up a makeshift installation under a temporary scaffolding and attempted to sell the works to bankers on their lunch breaks. Pictures of the interactions and transactions (she actually sold 8 of the prints, but then gave them to their buyers for free) were later further manipulated into a jittering set of after the fact photocollages.
Pixel-Stress collects all of this activity together into a single volume, but to call it a “book” would be a vast oversimplification of the formal originality it represents. Tiny thumbnails of the original “stress” images float on open white pages, the pixelated up close versions found on the backs in slippery high gloss. All of the works are then folded into a loose binder, held together by an elastic band; when you flip through the book, it comes apart in your hands. In the center, a stapled paper insert documents the sidewalk installation, complete with short quotes and reactions from the shoppers; the men in suits are then transformed into multiple image collages, where the pattern of a shirt collar or the splash of a pocket square is mixed together with the white frames and pixelated colors.
What is so satisfying about this project is that Kruithof’s layers of conceptual thinking aren’t brought together into some inscrutable art school obtuseness, but instead try to capture the essence of something inherently unphotographable, i.e. the complexities of stress. She brings together images of what the Internet thinks is stressful, how the bankers reacted to the works and defined their own stress, and how her performance itself had its elements of personal stress, moving back and forth, comparing and replaying. We might also conclude that the book itself is designed to cause the reader some stress, as it doesn’t function as we expect it to.
Kruithof’s approach isn’t to point her camera at something and tell us with plainspoken obviousness that ”this is stress”; instead she offers a diverse set of interrelated data points, which she then uses to triangulate toward a more rounded expression. Along the way, she dissects different photographic modes, breaking them down and reassembling them to fit her artistic needs. That she could draw such nuance from such a seemingly simple construct is a testament to the impressively structured thinking going on here.
Collector’s POV: Anouk Kruithof is represented by Boetzelaer Nispen in Amsterdam (here). Her work has not yet reached the secondary markets, so gallery retail remains the best option for those collectors interested in following up.
Pixel-stress selected for Photo Eye best books 2013 by chris Mc Call:
check for more info here
at the Lesley University College of Art and Design in Boston I gave an artist talk within the ‘art in context’ program. check it out here.
From March 14 till June 9th 2014
Paulien Oltheten & Anouk Kruithof
a duo presentation at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in rooms 28 and 29. My exhibition is called ‘Within interpretations of a wall’ and HERE you can find more information and the press release.
only in Dutch: CJP a magazine for youngsters, which I always also red when I was young wrote something on their blog, just before the opening of my exhibition ‘Paulien Oltheten and Anouk Kruithof’ at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
check it out here