Thomas Kuijpers wins Grolsch Unseen Residency

by Unseen January 09 2018

Unseen and Grolsch are delighted to announce Thomas Kuijpers (1985, NL) as the winner of the Grolsch Unseen Residency 2018. The residency offers a two-month scholarship in Stockholm early this year, where the winning artist will create a new body of work with an unconventional approach to the urban creative landscape. The resulting project will be exhibited at Unseen Amsterdam 2018. 

Thomas Kuijpers was chosen by an international jury on the basis of his ‘In search of Equality/ In search of Utopia’ project proposal. With the project, Kuijpers hopes to explore the notion of equality in a Swedish context; a country that, in his eyes, has never lost sight of utopia. “I’m very interested in the way governmental involvement affects the residents of a major city, and how people feel about it…sometimes the friction between these well-meant ideals and daily life becomes unbalanced. This friction will be the focus of my research”. Alongside gathering the ingredients to visualize this abstract concept via a series of interviews with locals, Kuijpers plans to draw on his own experiences in the city as both an immigrant and a temporary resident. 

Thomas Kuijpers: “I’m super excited! I think the most important thing to me is that this provides a beautiful chance to investigate these socio-political structures, since the way they deal with these matters up north has always intrigued me. Picking this place for the residency brings the perfect opportunity to finally pursue that interest, and it’s great to have a focused period of time on location to figure out how it feels to be in this situation. I hope to see the different effects that a government – one that still strives for utopia – has on its citizens.”

Jury Statement: “We were intrigued by the compelling nature of Thomas Kuijpers’ project proposal, as well as its political motivations. The project speaks not only of Swedish society, but to broader political concerns in the EU and beyond. In turn, we are confident that the presentation of the final project at Unseen Amsterdam 2018 has the capacity to generate lively debate amongst visitors.”

Emilia van Lynden, Artistic Director Unseen: “A rising star within the arts in the Netherlands, Unseen is thrilled to offer Thomas Kuijpers an opportunity to explore the concept of equality in Sweden. We wait in great anticipation to see how he, in his customary playful yet compelling manner, will interpret this phenomenon during his residency there.”

Unseen would like to congratulate all of the shortlisted artists for their excellent and varied project proposals. For more updates on the Grolsch Unseen Residency 2018, stay tuned over the coming months as we follow Thomas Kuijpers’ progress!

Image: see for yourself (I’m right), 2017 © Thomas Kuijpers