info on art, art events or artists
no images were foundThe next day, I opted to take the darkbox and camera on the road. I had wanted to photograph my hometown ever since I started on the wet plate process and - not unimportant - I needed to prove to myself that I would be able to work outdoors without my darkroom blowing over. I drove across the river and set the camera in place in a beautiful sunny spot after asking permission from the land owners, and kept the darkbox slightly sheltered from the winds by placing it alongside the car. Despite some minor issues with my chemicals (The collodion sliding off the plate, the silver layer seems quite heavy, and the emulsion is showing a million tiny pinholes) I am happy to say that I got an almost decent image out of it, even if it cannot be viewed as a proper ambrotype... It also shows that the amazingly cheap projector lens would be capable of service and I need a bit more practice in the field.
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no images were foundNext, I passed the book hall. Never one to refuse looking at books, let alone looking at art books, let alone looking at PHOTOGRAPHY art books, I went in. The book hall itself is not very big, but the selected seller here have some good material. Most, if not all of it is new as there are many publishers present, and a few photographers are selling their own made / published wares. I particulary liked the stands of Basboek, run by Bas Fontein, who finds new and humerous ways to interpret the things most of us mortals would call failure. The stand of Geirmundur Klein was special for the man's obvious love of his photography, and the way he chose to express it in his handcrafted limited edition sets of polaroids. Apart from that, his image sets of crematoriums caught my attention - I'm always game for a slight bout of morbidity - the clean lines, perfectly accentuating the depressing architecture are enough to send anyone into a swift downward spiral.
no images were foundAfter looking at the books I took a little break a queued up to have my photo taken at the Inside Out photo project. The little trailer-like contraption spits the image out in a mere minute or so and I have to admit I was quite impressed by the picture quality. The images are then pasted to floors and walls (some folks took them home) to become part of the on-going project.
"The INSIDE OUT project has travelled from Ecuador to Nepal, from Mexico to Palestine to New York and is next headed to Amsterdam. Visitors are invited to have their portrait taken in a mobile photo booth and instantly printed on poster-scale format to then become a part of the exhibition and an ever-growing, global artwork. You will become the artwork, your face the statement."
no images were foundThen, finally, it was time for the main event: the galleries and their display of yet-to be discovered photographic talent or works of known photographers that had not been displayed before. Just a little part of me was hoping for a slightly rubbish show so this part would not have to be this long, but (thanks goodness) - I had no such 'luck'. At Peter Lav Gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark) I spotted the black and white works of Adam Jepessen. I was actually surprised to learn that the 3 smaller images were not made by an alternative printing technique, but by photocopying and oil paints. The larger work was fully built up with photocopies and pins. Regardless, the looming dark tones set the sombre mood fantastically. At Galerie Conrads (Dusseldorf, Germany) the slightly hidden works of Sascha Weidner, pigment prints on paper are beautiful in their coloration and execution, even if I might not find the subject matter amazingly powerful or surprising. At Galerie Bart (Nijmegen, the Netherlands) I found myself surprisingly interested in the works of both artists on display, Yvonne Lacet and Femke Dekkers. I normally won't go for anything too cubistic or abstract, but these images seemed well-conceived and perfectly executed. I later heard that the white paper shapes used by Yvonne are actually tiny! At Seelevel Gallery (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) I spotted the three cubist nudes by Koen Hauser and had to look at them twice to be able to fully admire the clean lighting and editing done on them. At Pobeda Gallery (Moskow, Russia) I really liked the polaroid-like images by Anna Skladmann, frivolous and casual in their nature, reminding me (and I am sure a lot of other people) of the joyfulness of childhood and of days gone by in general. At L A Noble Gallery (London, UK) I had the best time with two lovely ladies who showed me the works of Anne Leigniel, even letting me have a look at some more of her fascinating works on their computer (thanks again!). Anne's photographs are deceptively simple, photographing used artists' cloths on a single nail and the images being greatly enlarged. The cloth, and the degree to which it has been used, varies per person, just as the way it is offered to the photographer (somtimes, even washed and folded!) presenting us with an indirect portrait of the original owner. Correct me if I'm wrong, but these images do work best in a set or series, and they had four up for this fair. At Galerie Alexs Daniels Reflex (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) there were a few amazing images on display by Hisaji Hara, the operating table in the display box being my personal favourite, possibly of the whole fair. At G/P Gallery (Tokyo, Japan) I was impressed with most work on diplay. There. I have said it. I must have a weakness for Japanese artists for I usually find most of what they produce in the visual arts more than interesting. Daisuke Yokota, Taisuke Koyama and Takashi Kawashima all had stunning work on display, be it all different. In spite of myself (normally favouring Black and white images) I would have to say that the colourful rainbow images by Taisuke Koyama were my favorite this time round. At Michael Hoppen Contemporary (London, UK) I saw the works of Alberto Villar, which, if I remember correct, were part of the advertisement campaign for the fair. The works are great up close, good sharpness and contrast, without losing the same sort of icky clouding sensation when looking at some good ol' taxidermy on formaldehyde. Again, a little morbid, and therefore right up my street. At VU la Galerie (Paris, France) I was treated to a good bit of grey. I never shy away from a good bit of grey, and certainly not if it's been made by Ester Vonplon. Please don't snigger, I mean it. The textures within the images themselves reminded me of the wet collodion process - and the lack of contrast, combined with the bleak imagery, made me think of purgatory. At Martin Asbaek gallery (Copenhagen, Denmark) The dreamy images of Astrid Kruse Jensen would not have been misplaced in a fashion magazine, the subdues, slightly darkened tones setting a mildly depression tone. At Galerie Esther Woerdehoff (Paris, France) we are offered bleak, snow-capped mountains, a shimmering of the black rock in the distance. An acute sharpness to these images by Michael Schnabel really makes them radiate! At Flowers Gallery (London, UK) I spotted a couple of images by Esther Teichmann, from the series Mythologies and again, it were the subtle tones that attracted me. The soft, feminine images might have helped a bit too. The image 'Channon' by Mona Kuhn was simply stunning. A fine art nude in subdued tones and shadowplay. What more can you ask for? At Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) I loved the dye sublimation prints by Michael Wolf, and truth be told, they were pulling quite a crowd - in as far as that was possible in the fairly narrow display booths. From the subtle tones to the recognisable but slightly absurd scenes - beautiful! At NextLevel Galerie (Paris, France) it was 'On her skin #1', by Asako Shimizu, with its beautiful colors and serene setting that really caught my eye. At Gun Gallery (Stockholm, Sweden) they seemed a little unprepared as when I asked for their details, they could not provide me with a flyer, card or businesscard, but offered to write me their details on a little note. Don't let in deter you to check out the work of their artist Julia Hetta though! At Gallery Taik Persons (Berlin, Germany) the recent paperworks of Maija Savolainen are a beauty to behold. As thoughtful creations that challenge the way we percieve photography as a medium of representative truth they are not actually horizons or sunsets, but pieces of transparent paper photographed in folds on angle. Simple yet stunning. At Kahmann Gallery (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) the four works of Schilte and Portielje were doing remarkably well, with apparently 3 out of 4 sold already by the time I visited them. The works are stunning, though not very large and very painterly in execution. At Galerie Les Filles Du Calvaire (Paris, France) the inverted images labelled 'black screen' were quite interesting, although I would have liked to know who made them! At Aando Fine Art (Berlin, Germany) I first noticed the haunting landscape images of Kim Boske, before admiring the grand images of nature that Bae Bien-U produced. Both artists manage to convey an image of nature with a power of it's own, one that man would do good to either fear or respect. At Kuckei + Kuckei (Berlin, Germany) the finely detailed scenes by Guillermo Srodek-Hart were nice, but the image of the Town Barber was definately the best for me. I love the way the focus seems to be on the chair and the shop, but then you see the barber standing behind the chair, in the mirror. Not quite there, but not quite absent. Also there (no image included in the gallery - sorry!) was Sipke Visser. He is working on a photography project that includes mailing out images to random strangers, and (sometimes) receiving mail back from them. He collected his works so far into a book - and is currently still going on it, taking images at the fair as well.
no images were foundLastly, I'd like to share two final initiatives from the photo fair. Have fun if you're going and share your thoughts! 'Visually impaired' is a series of touch-sensitive photography of blind or children with poor eyesight. Upon touching the image, it becomes visible, but only temporarily. The Tintype studio (Arjen Went and Manon Navarro) with Alex Timmermans: Alchemist. The man, the legend! He is making tintypes and ambrotypes for fun and profit - go and have your image taken in this antique craft. But beware! The process will take some time, and it might get busy so book yourself in to avoid dissapointment.
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no images were foundFollowing, I stopped at the CitadellstraBe 15, at the Horst Schuler Gallery, which currently hosts a display by MAGMA, dye transfer editions - a project by Roman Schramm and Egbert Haneke, which contains "Dye Transfer Editions by Timur Si-Qin, Thea Djordjadze, Josephine Pryde, Jochen Lempert, Dan Graham, F.C. Gundlach, Leonore Mau, Erwin Blumenfeld, Gabi Steinhauser and Susanne M. Winterling." I had never really looked into this process but I have to say the colors on these prints are magnificent! a simple grey concrete wall turns into a delightful display of colorations, which, as a digital print would have fallen very flat indeed. Reds are truly red, and blacks run as deep as night. The exhibition runs till the 12th of October if you care to go and see it.
no images were foundNext stop on the list was the BKK-Kunstforum on the BirkenstraBe 47 where supposedly 19 artists have their workshop. The size of the workspace would have made it a good contrast against the lonely photographer in his own space, but I found nothing of the sort. The two sections I found opened contained a smaller space where a few of the artists were selling some of their works (for very reasonable prices I might add) and the other section contained 3 pieces of video art and a bar. I expected to see a little more than that to be honest! FlurstraBe 57 proved to be more interesting. The gallery, Cosar HMT, was unfortunately not open, but on the first floor I found the most beautiful workspace a photographer could have wished for, occupied by ... a photographer: Thea Weires. There were some impressive images (the sheer size of them alone!) and props around the place and the kids seemed to be having a good time to the music that was playing.
no images were foundThe last stop I would make was at the HoffeldstraBe 42, to see the work of photographic artist Hiroko Inoue. I was very impressed by her 'Mori' images on display and asked to take a photo for this blog. Lucky for me she was actually present and we had a lovely chat about Germany, the presence of images in a physical space and coping with the lack of workspace.
no images were foundIt was the perfect ending to my little tour of Dusseldorf's art scene, let's do it again next year!
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no images were foundNext on the list was free rhubarb and gooseberry cake and coffee at the MaxHaus as I had a couple of coupons 🙂 Needless to say it tasted most excellent!
no images were foundAs we still had half of the afternoon left, we went to the Dusseldorf Stadtmuseum. It is right around the corner from the Max Haus and again, we had coupons for free entry. We started on the first floor, where we were stopped after about 20 minutes by an overzealous employee, asking for our tickets (we were LITERALLY the only ones there) and if we would stow our bags. I refused, mine just being a small handbag, after which she continued to explain in rapid German that we needed to be very very careful as the bags may easily damage some of the works on display. *Sigh* Fiiiiine, we'll promise to be careful. I normally don't go to a museum intending to damage anything, thank you very much. Then, she pointed out that we were in the wrong section completely and needed to start downstairs as that's where the older items are, and we were now nearly in the present. We told her we didn't care much for the 'correct' order after which she frowned but otherwise left us alone, occasionally 'casually' passing by to check on us.
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no images were foundNormally I do not hold a great fascination for ceramics, apart from that I seem to be buying flowerpots and vases everywhere and I don't even have my own balcony, garden or ever buy or receive flowers!I was pleasantly surprised at some of the items - there were a few to provide me with inspiration and even one or two to add to a personal shopping list. I wouldn't mind owning a pair of porcelain containers like the ones from the dinner service Magnolia, designed by Fance Franck for the 'Dansk International' (1983/ 84) Afterwards we went for ice cream and little R&R in front of one the museums nearby. Apparently they are nice enough to put sun loungers outside around the fountain when it's warm enough 🙂 Let's hope the great weather keeps up as I'm traveling to the Netherlands this Sunday to finally start mixing those chemicals and start wet plate shooting!
no images were foundYou can find the full set on Facebook. This week I have also been editing my wedding images for Emi and Hylco. They already were nearly finished but I just wanted to check them over to make sure, and to add some of the 120 film images which I have taken during the day. The discs will be burned and sent out tomorrow, just as they are returning from their honeymoon - let's hope they like them as much as I do!