Fair, Unseen Amsterdam 2017 © Maarten Nauw
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.
“The American landscape and its layered relationship with photography is an ever-growing personal interest of mine, so this year, I was immediately drawn to the work of Drew Nikonowicz at the Aperture booth at Unseen Amsterdam. His work seemed to provide visual answers to so many theoretical questions I’ve had on my mind over the past years. My only disappointment was to find out he hadn’t yet published a book.
“Two weeks later, I received an email from Jennifer Yoffy at Yoffy Press asking if I would be interested in designing a book. Both Jennifer and the photographer had thought of me when discussing the design. It turned out that Drew Nikonowicz was the photographer in question, and that the project I’d be designing was exactly the same work I’d seen at the fair. I instantly said yes, and I’m currently working on the book, which I will also co-publish. It might even be ready for the upcoming edition of Unseen Amsterdam!”
2015-02-17 07-59-02 PM coordinates 38°56'34.84" N 92°19'21.28" W 00767, from This World and Others Like It, 2015 © Drew Nikonowicz/ Aperture Foundation
Nick Sutton (Collector)
“It’s to my advantage that I am rather forward in building even casual relationships within the photography circuit (I send Christmas cards to the galleries and artists I love, even if I don’t buy from them often) but at Unseen this style works well for the serious collector! To find myself with Ruth van Beek or Juno Calypso and their respective galleries, discussing work in context, or meeting WM Hunt and jointly celebrating my enthusiasm – these are rare delights that provide serious insights into establishing my own vision for collecting. Juno won me over with her kitchen, whilst Christophe Guye nearly had me with his amazing, deeply personal display of Japanese photography.”
Subterranean Kitchen, 2017 © Juno Calypso/ TJ Boulting
“While wandering through the Unseen Book Market in search of source materials to use for The Book Market Book, I stumbled upon Oliver Sieber’s For Sale. In the book, Oliver photographed the camera equipment that he has collected since 1981. Accompanying these aesthetically appealing pictures are ‘reference images’ that correspond with the cameras, as well as a cd where you can listen to the different sounds the cameras make. In my own work, I’m constantly switching between images of process and the result, allowing both an equal footing. In For Sale, this idea is balanced to perfection, and it has stuck with me ever since.”
For Sale © Oliver Sieber
Reinier van Lanschot (Collector)
“Did you know that the human eye sees more shades of green than any other colour? Our eyes are most sensitive to green frequencies. FARC the last days in the jungle by Federico Rios (Colectivo +1) made me realise this for the first time. It appealed to me immediately and sustained my interest as I continued to look. It was partly because of the abundant shades of green, partly because of the lone FARC member riding a mule in the river (one can fantasize about so many stories!), and also partly because it reminded me of a five-day hike I did through the Colombian jungle earlier that year. This small discovery at CO-OP still brightens my life every day.”
FARC the last days in the jungle © Federico Rios/ Colectivo +1
“Speaking as an artist, the downside of art fairs is that they sometimes show works out of context and for me they become ‘unreadable’ in terms of concept or meaning. This is why it was so refreshing to see the presentations in CO-OP. The stand of Radical Reversibility grabbed my attention. Their aim is to construct a trans-historical framework of thought and image-making. At CO-OP, they made connections between contemporary images and a historical photo of El Lissitzky. This was their first big showcase and I’m curious to see what they come up with next.”
CO-OP, Unseen Amsterdam 2017 © Bert-Jan Kramers