Foam Amsterdam spring 2014
One of the most successful events in the history of Amsterdam’s Foam Photography Museum just ended – the retrospective over William Klein’s career was seen by some 55,000 visitors in not even three months – and already tonight a new exciting initiative will open its doors to the public.
This time not one, but four different exhibitions will open simultaneously and it’s fair to say that the contrasts from the William Klein showing is really big. While the works of the great American photographer are largely focused on the observer’s visual senses, where the message of each object was clear and articulate, the programme for the weeks ahead focuses on more senses than ‘just’ the eyes. The theme for all four exhibitions has an element of intimacy that lingers around inside the head and somehow comes to full life once you left the place. Simply put, the topics covered create a thought-provoking atmosphere that makes you think that little bit extra.
At the same time, nothing can be more wrong than saying that the visual aspect of the experience is not an important part of the impressions. Quite the opposite actually: witnessing especially Richard Mosse’s ‘The Enclave’ will remain unforgettable for any observer, there’s an element of the whole concept that just stays with you forever. It likely has a lot to do with the mesmerising magenta colour permeating the whole installation, creating an environment reminiscing an illusion. Combined with the seriousness of the topic covered, namely the brutality of the almost forgotten Congolese war, the whole experience isn’t leaving anyone unperturbed.
Richard Mosse is a practitioner of slow journalism and his photo documentary was a project carried out over several years. No rush there – and the outcome was rewarding ever since its first showing at last year’s Venice Biennale. The element of time is the key factor in one of the other exhibits opening at Foam as well: Ola Lanko’s project ‘All Year Round’ deals with the time factor in a different way. Her starting point with the project is the fact that photography traditionally speaking isn’t able to capture the time perspective. The project consists of 2,000 automated daily images from the very same spot over Amsterdam’s IJ River, and the collection over 365 days resulted in an art installation that at first glance might not even resemble a photography project. Ola’s project is a manifestation of not just art, but also of passion and commitment to a daily routine over the period of a year, rain or shine. For Ola a part of the surprising outcome was the realisation of how to present this installation, and undeniably it’s a presentation that lingers at the back of your head once you left the intimate space it’s presented in.
The element of surprise is definitely at the centre of the third project opening up as well. The award-winning Swiss duo’s – Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs – approach to photography is carrying elements illusionists would use. Based on a deep knowledge of photo history and photography, the duo is on a mission to create an interplay within reality and illusion, almost creating photographs as sculptors would do, by carefully adding layers into their socially aware installations. Not surprisingly, the exhibition is entitled ‘Adding, Adding, Adding’, and it’s yet another intimate affair, where the social commentary is mixed with humour and comes across both as intelligent and with elements of the absurd in it.
The fourth and final exhibition in this round of Foam events is fully centred on the aspect of intimacy, both in the theme it depicts, but also regarding the history behind the pictures. Kaveh Golestan’s ‘The Citadel’ is an intimate exhibition curated by Vali Mahlouji. This is a journey back in time, into an Iran before the Ayatollahs transformation of the country into an Islamic republic changed everything. The Shahr-e No district was the prostitute zone of Tehran, where only women lived but only men were allowed to visit. The prostitutes depicted are not only a reminder of a different Iran, but also a memento over women’s rights, as contradictory as this might sound like. The women of the zone were the first victims of the Ayatollahs’ Iran by hanging, and there are no more traces of the zone, the women, or woman’s rights in general in today’s Iran – all of it got evaporated.
Four different sounding exhibitions, but there’s a common theme, a dialogue to the senses. It’s fair to say that Foam put on a collection of exhibitions to stimulate all senses.
[ale_divider style=”thin” text=”textleft”] Foam Amsterdam Spring 2014 – Further exhibition details: [/ale_divider]
Richard Mosse – The Enclave
‘The Enclave’ is a major multi-media installation comprising of six large screens accompanied by a soundtrack specially composed to accompany the films. The documentaries shot with a very special infrared film depict the conflict situation in Congo. At the very heart of the project is the attempt to bring art into the depiction of a theme unimaginably raw in its cruelty, but also to use the strong force photography plays in the documentation of the world. This unforgettable exhibition was Ireland’s representation at the 55th Biennale di Venezia.
Kaveh Golestan – The Citadel
This exhibition, curated by Vali Mahlouji, presents 45 vintage photographs secretly smuggled out from Iran by the curator himself, depicting prostitutes from Tehran’s red light district, taken between 1975-1977. Kaveh Golestan was a Magnum photographer, who tragically fell victim to a landmine in Iraq in 2003. The pictures were only exhibited once briefly before the Iranian Revolution swept across the country and this is the first time since then that the pictures are shown in public. The women behind the photographs remain faceless mementos from a time in Iran when women liberation was crushed, here somewhat contradictory depicted via the prostitute trade.
Ola Lanko – All Year Round
Part of ‘Foam 3h’ this new project by Ola Lanko poses the question of how photography can depict the element of time, normally considered an impossible attribute of photography as an art form. The project depicts the notion of time in an unusual manner via 365 ‘photographs’ where each one is made up of 2000 daily automated pictures, offering a literal retrospective of a year. The installation is a thought-provoking result and likely best understood in the combination of the documented project on its website www.1year365days.com.
Taiyo Onorato & Nico Krebs – Adding, Adding, Adding
The Swiss duo Taiyo Onorato and Nico Krebs are the 2013 Paul Huf Award winners and part of their prize is this exhibition at Foam. The duo is a team of photography illusionists who touch on serious subjects from society with an illusionist’s approach to their subjects, where installations are carefully crafted out with the help of optical illusions. While their projects carry an element of intelligence and complexity, their work remains intelligent and accessible.
[ale_divider style=”thin” text=”textleft”] Foam Amsterdam visiting details: [/ale_divider]
[ale_tabs][ale_tab title=”Opening Hours”] Daily: 10am – 6pm
Thursday – Friday: 10am- 9pm
1 January 2014: 12pm – 6pm [/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”Admission”] The admission fee for this exhibition is Euro 10,-.
For discounts possibilities please visit the website of the museum.[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”Address”] Keizersgracht 609
1017 DS AMSTERDAM[/ale_tab]
[ale_tab title=”Map”][ale_map address=”Keizersgracht 609, Amsterdam” width=”60%” height=”120px”][/ale_tab]
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