ING Unseen Talent Award: Pauline Niks

by Unseen November 13 2018

Image: Certified type 3 ballistic gelatine, from the series A Free Man, 2018 © Pauline Niks

Pauline Niks (b. 1982, NL)
Years after her studies in Painting in (2004), Pauline decided to focus on photography, she graduated as MA in Photography in 2017. Niks lives and works in Amsterdam, and currently also works for the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant.

Niks’ latest work illustrates replicated architecture in China, a prime example of which is the Great Wall — whose copies can be found in several places around the world. By highlighting these structures, Niks questions the so-called authenticity of documentary photography.

Artist statement
A Free Man is about home-made firearms, the liberty to share information and the freedom to make what you want to make. It all started with an article about Cody Wilson, founder of the organisation Defence Distributed. Wilson wants to gain the ultimate freedom to share information, just as Assange and Snowden once did. To reach his goal he makes it possible for people to print their own 3D guns using plans that they can download online. He chose to share the plans for printing guns because this was an easy way to grab people’s attention for his ideas. For the ING Unseen Talent Award, I visited different people that make their own weapons. Each individual had their own vision of how this contributes to their freedom. The project deals with the fear of - and liberation from - those who hold power.