Fair, Unseen Amsterdam 2017 © Almicheal Fraay
What struck a chord? What stood out from the crowd? What lingers on in memory at the start of a new year?
Unseen Amsterdam is a place for visitors of all descriptions to make exciting photographic discoveries. From surprising titles at the Unseen Book Market to compelling new work, ‘Unseen Impressions’ sees a range of industry professionals reflect on the unexpected gems of their own recent visit.
“My most memorable impression from Unseen was a set of intimate black and white prints by Raymond Meeks, shown by Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen. This wall of photographs representing teenagers jumping into an unknown world, combined with still life pictures from the fall's surroundings, was absolutely mind-blowing. Each photograph was a piece of art and yet, the sum of them all was even greater than the individual works – showing again the love affair between photography and the series. Very few practitioners achieve to tell a story that resonates in each and every one of us while engaging in a study of the medium of photography itself – no doubt Meeks is one of them.”
from the series Cabbage White © Raymond Meeks/Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen
“We really appreciated the work of Thomas Albdorf, and we find his conversation between the photographer and the sculptor very inspirational. His work makes you question what you see. We felt like we were on an investigative mission looking for mistakes in his constructed realities. Are you actually overlooking the Alps or are you just visiting a photo studio in Vienna? There is a playfulness to it all that we really appreciate. The images are quirky and kitschy, though beautiful.”
from the series General View, 2017 © Thomas Albdorf/Webber
Maisie Skidmore (Arts Writer and Editor of anothermag.com)
“There’s a lot of talk in the art world about the ‘interconnectedness of things’: connections which link one exhibition to another; artists who share communities and collaborators; themes which seem to crop up again and again. But wandering from stand to stand in CO-OP, I was really struck by international collective Der Greif’s installation there, which picked up on this idea in a very literal way by showing an ‘exquisite corpse’ of enormous scale, entitled Thread Count.
“The idea was very simple: the team invited 25 photographers to present an image they had made for the new issue of the magazine, and then asked each of those photographers to invite a peer to submit an image in response – and so on, and so forth. The resulting amalgamation of what seemed like hundreds of photographs were printed on cards and displayed on a huge pin board, to create a sprawling web of interconnected works. Even better: visitors could buy prints to pick up and take home, thereby changing the harmony of the overall display. It felt incredibly dynamic – a real hub of ideas and energy. And what is an event like Unseen for, if not that taking that art world electricity, and making newcomers feel part of it too?”
CO-OP, Unseen Amsterdam 2017 © Bert-Jan Kramers
“I discovered the aesthetically engaging and mystical photography by Ukrainian duo Tania Shcheglova and Roman Noven (working together as Synchrodogs) at Unseen. Synchrodogs presents the figure as form, nude, glorified and alone in the landscape. The photographs caught my attention because they hold uncanny psychological twists. The way these photographers place the human body inside the natural environment makes me sense that the human is in love with – yet also estranged from – the earth, or maybe only partly living on it. Supernatural and constructed elements are presented, posing the engagement in another world or dimension, perhaps a sublime one. Further, after spending more time looking at the photographs, I realised that the images were strongly politically charged in their confrontation of cultural and sociological norms.”
from the series Supernatural, 2017 © Synchrodogs/Stieglitz19