Across The Globe: Artist Spotlight #
Gam, from the series Drown In My Magic, 2019 © David Uzochukwu/Galerie Number 8
As we enter the final stretch before the fair, we are completing our global tour of galleries participating in Unseen Amsterdam 2019. For this final instalment of our series, we head to France and Belgium where we take a look at 8 galleries who feature a diverse range of talented photographers.
Galerie Binome is devoted to supporting emerging visual artists and challenging the medium's conceptual and formal boundaries. Marie Clerel (b. 1988, FR) finds poetry in everyday life through the use of natural light and primitive photographic techniques. By revisiting these antiquated practices, including cyanotypes, her photograms turn sunlight and moonlight into the subject of investigation and experimentation. Baptiste Rabichon (b. 1987, FR) has both a passionate and extremely critical relationship with images. Shifting from analogue to digital, from darkroom to pixel, he explores new ways of producing images in order to reveal a reality that escapes the human eye or photographic optics. His new series, The Chirales, which is premiering at Unseen Amsterdam, was created with the help of two office scanners. It evokes a new time-space of pictorial production where rainbows and colourful bugs enter in dialogue with pictorial matter. The work of Mustapha Azeroual (b. 1979, FR) is based on observation and experimentation. He combines traditional shooting and printing techniques with contemporary conceptual concerns to create abstract compositions with a painterly quality. In his premiering series, Radiance #6, Azeroual focuses on sunrises and sunset - two key moments of the day for chromatic variations of light. He takes several photos on one film then digitally gathers the negatives, thus transforming the landscape into an abstract form and reducing it to a skyline.
002, from the series Chirales, 2019 © Baptiste Rabichon/Galerie Binome
Fisheye Gallery is known for its commitment and unique approach to promoting contemporary photography. This year at Unseen Amsterdam they are presenting four diverse photographers from around the world. Delphine Diallo (b. 1977, FR/SN) is a Brooklyn-based visual artist and photographer combining artistry with activism. Diallo will be premiering large format collages at the Fair, from her latest series: The years of the Snake. Also premiering work at Unseen Amsterdam, Morvarid K (b. 1982, IR) grounds her artistic work in what she calls the invisible frontiers: desired or forced, personal or public, real or imaginary. She aims to create bridges between identities and cultures through her projects, which span different media, from photography, to ink drawings to collage. Her new series, Ecotone, which will premiere at the Fair, is comprised of a series of 27 photographic collages. It borrows the ancestral Japanese craft of Kintsugi which celebrates the perfection of imperfection – beauty and poetry within scars.
Sandrine Elberg (b. 1978, FR) experiments with the consistency of the photographic medium by applying its technical and aesthetic possibilities. Influenced by surrealists, she deliberately plays with light manipulations in the darkroom to create photograms and solarised images. Known for their road trips to the United States, Maud Chalard (b. 1989, FR) & Théo Gosselin’s (b. 1990, FR) cinematic photography documents their quest for the persistent, albeit elusive, concept of freedom in the bucolic landscapes of the American West.
Untitled, from the series Meteor/Asteroid, 2017 © Sandrine Elberg/Fisheye Gallery
Based in Lille, Galerie Cédric Bacqueville represents a variety of photographic talents with different backgrounds and levels of experience. Thomas Devaux’s (b. 1980, FR) current work lies somewhere at the crux of photography and painting. This allows him to pursue his research on sacred themes, profanity, consumption and isolation. At Unseen Amsterdam, Devaux will be premiering his latest series, Rayons; abstract works in which he critiques the issues of mass consumption as symbolised by supermarket shelves. David de Beyter’s (b. 1985, FR) photography explores the boundaries between reality and fiction, melting together the present, past and future. He will be premiering new works within his series Big Bangers and The Skeptics, which mix together film, photography and sculpture. The first series is a reflection on a popular car-destruction practice from in the south of Belgium. The Skeptics focuses on a marginal community of thinkers in Spain who are preoccupied with UFOs. For several years, Laura Henno (b. 1976, FR) has centred her photographic and cinematographic work around issues of illegal migration, in Comoros, Réunion, and Calais. Her latest series Comoros confronts the situation of migrants and young smugglers, with a documentary approach drawing upon the power of narratives and stories. Gautier Deblonde’s (b. 1969, FR) work lies halfway between reportage and documentary. He will be presenting works from his series Atelier, characterised by its use of panoramic format and extreme sharpness to capture empty studios - the presence of the artist in their absence.
Magical Place I (Las Canadas), 2019 © David de Beter/Galerie Cedric Bacqueville
Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière will be presenting work by Adrien Boyer and Mikiya Takimoto. Adrien Boyer’s (b. 1979, FR) photographs have a minimalistic aesthetic that alter our perception of daily reality and open the doors to our imagination. His series, Présences and Caen reflect a contemplative mind as well as a speculative guise, questioning our experience of reality through harmonious forms and colours. The photographic and cinematographic work of Mikiya Takimoto (b. 1974, JP) is rooted in time, over the seven continents, often in extreme conditions under complex protocols. Each image is the result of a long drawn out photographic process. His series Le Corbusier, composed of nine photographs taken at the Villa La Roche, aims to relive the vision of Le Corbusier’s famous architecture. Takimoto is interested in capturing the flat surface configuration, the continuous horizontal windows, and the rational modularity, beyond the familiar external views.
Untitled (Vietnam), n°6, from the series Présences, 2018 © Adrien Boyer/Galerie Clémentine de la Féronnière
Operating from Brussels, Galerie Number 8 represents work that broadens common perceptions of identity, representation and the human condition.
Alexia Fiasco’s (b. 1990, FR) practice draws on both documentary and fine art photography to explore the concept of duality in identity and heritage. The Denial I - Family Portrait is a dreamlike fictional documentary series based on Fiasco’s mysterious family history which she attempts to unravel by travelling to her father’s native Cape Verde Islands. This year’s youngest artist at the Fair, David Uzochukwu (b. 1998, AT/NG), focuses on bodies within nature, incorporating surrealist elements in his works, letting landscapes reflect emotions. He occasionally becomes the subject of his own photographs, using this as a starting point for further conceptual exploration. At Unseen Amsterdam, Uzochukwu will be premiering the series Drown In My Magic, which uses the image of humanoid water creatures, equipped with fins, tails, or sharp teeth, to thematise what it means to be dubbed “black” – to have an oppressive notion of race imposed upon, and to thrive nonetheless.
Gam, from the series Drown in Magic, 2019 © David Uzochukwu/Galerie Number 8
Since 2013, Galerie Sit Down has been entirely devoted to photography, with special emphasis on documentary and fine art photography. This year at Unseen Amsterdam they will present the work of Charles Xelot (b. 1985, FR), a photographer exploring the limits between art and documentary, with a special interest in Russian culture. He will be premiering new work: There is Gas under the Tundra, a long term project during which he spent three polar winters exploring the gas industry in the Yamal Peninsula in Russia in order to illustrate the uncomfortable realities of its gargantuan production.
Gregory and the Factory, from the series There is Gas under the Toundra, 2018 © Charles Xelot/Galerie Sit Down
IBASHO is a Belgian gallery focusing solely on photography and photobooks by Japanese artists or artists inspired by Japan. David Favrod (b. 1982, JP/CH) draws from his mixed heritage in his work which combines photography with a wide range of imaging techniques inspired by the Japanese traditions of Manga and Animé. At Unseen Amsterdam. he will be premiering his new series, The Sound of the Black Waves, which attempts to answer the question ‘how can photography tell a story?’ through the use of traditional visual codes of Manga and comic books.In her photography, Miho Kajioka (b. 1973, JP) creates intuitive and poetic gelatin silver prints in her dark room, which reflect the beauty of seemingly insignificant moments of daily life. Kajioka will also premiere her latest series So It Goes, based on the novel Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, which explores concepts of time, memory and location.After a career in modelling, Tokyo Rumando (b. 1980, JP) turned the camera lens on herself. Her work defies gender roles attributed by Japanese patriarchal mores and plays with ‘the male gaze’ to produce her own vision of identity, sexuality and intimacy. She will be premiering her series Grid 36, an experimental record of a performance captured on 36 film stills. Norio Takasugi’s (b. 1973, JP) work deals with the contrast between society and individuality - one experiences life both as a single entity and as part of the masses. The crowd offers protection and opportunities yet also limits one’s agency. Takasugi will be premiering two new series; Ivy, a photographic collage comprised of 48 pieces of gelatin silver prints, and Silver Leaf, which employs a rare Japanese screen printing technique involving silver leaf and sulphur, dating back to the 18th century.
Miroir brisé, from the series The sound of the black waves, 2018 © David Favrod/IBASHO
At Unseen Amsterdam, the Belgian gallery Stieglitz19 will be presenting work of three artists, all of whom are premiering new work. Lara Gasparotto (b. 1989, BE), who will also be presenting her new book at Unseen Amsterdam, is known for her consistent depiction of women as being young, sensual, and sometimes contemplative to the point of withdrawal. Her new work has all been shot in Congo. Daido Moriyama (b. 1938, JP) is a Japanese photographer known for his grainy black and white images of a post-war Japan. He has had major exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern to name a few.
Sybren Vanoverberghe’s (b. 1996, BE) work analyses the correlation between time and place, and the ever recurring cycle of history. His latest series, Conference of the Birds, is a study of the historical landscape of Iran - how does one attach meaning to a certain place?
Mountain, from the series Conference of the Birds, 2019 © Sybren Vanoverberghe/Stieglitz19
You can find out more about all the artists exhibiting at Unseen Amsterdam 2019 here.