17 - 19 SEPTEMBER 2021
Karim el Maktafi
Photo Basel, Berlin
Rabin Huissen (NL)
Curated by Marth von Loeben
Life In Fragments
Rabin Huissen's works origin from meticulous rituals that intend to materialize memories. The begins an artwork by following an instructed script he sets for himself and the guests that are invited to collaborate. The scripts work as a structural frame- he is the initiator performer and invites others to join the performance. The script sets up a situation incentivizing human contact in a natural condition. The evolution of the performance can lead to a diverse array of results- such as small human scale blueprints, letters, or postcards.
The blueprints are evidence of intimate body experiences, which reflect unique personal experiences behind the routinary human lifestyle. The artist focuses on preserving and safeguarding the spontaneous energy of the moment in an object while blending this with his personal life experiences.
He inscribes the messages or experiences on paper, previously prepared with photo emulsion which reacts to light. Time is the invisible agent that allows for the reaction to take place and finally, the instant is registered. Natural conditions such as the sun, wind, temperature, sand, dust and water interfere with the process. These conserved moments are then collected and archived in boxes, as a closure of the process. However, this closure is temporary, as they are later on brought to the white box context, claiming the gallery’s function of preserving but also displaying history. The boxes are exhibited in cabinets and on tables, as tridimensional timelines, varying in its dimensions, although the material is always the same, presented as a physical landscape of a memory database: a representation of time under the fragments of memories.
The work carefully articulates a relationship between private and public: keeping and sharing secrets. The white boxes that lay in a cabinet or on a table, waiting to be opened, until the work is finally activated by the viewer, present themselves as a gift that has been prepared by the artist under the form of a secret. Or in his letters and postcards, where the artist asks for a favour which conveys a relation with the other, built upon levels of care and trust. This favour is a set of instructions to be followed by the other, which were thought through based on the person's personality and relation with the artist. By following the instructions, the other person is finalizing the work without being conscious of it.
Huissen's work comes from a conceptual basis, very precise in defining its parameters and also in terms of material and composition - where each part of the work is designed and made by himself - which makes it very unique. Yet, they are also very physical and organic, they map inner feelings and reveal physical reactions through an echo of abstractions. His work is based on the idea that memories are obsolete unless they are mediated by humans and interfered by external conditions, thus bringing the memory into life.
Natalia Grezina (Ru | NL)
Iiris Sointu (Fin | NL)
Riccardo de Vecchi (It | NL)
Filippo Ficozzi (It | NL)
Curated by Marth von Loeben
Blood in the corner of the eye
The central piece by Finnish artist Iiris Sointu titled “Mass and Mind” aims to strip down the human being to its core material and make the individual rethink its uniqueness in terms of physicality and transcendence. We are made of the same matter, which can be measured and controlled, but what is the spark that renders us different from each other?
On the walls, the works by Riccardo de Vecchi (Italian architecture-oriented photographer) and Natalia Grezina (Crimean embroidery artist) will lock the sense of introspection by addressing the viewer directly both from a conceptual and visual direction. The new series of photos by Riccardo de Vecchi will make the observer rethink the environment in which they were taken and if they even represent actual reality.
The embroidery pieces by Natalia Grezina are meant to blend the boundaries of memory, imagination and nightmares to the point of leaving the viewer deeply entangled in the emotional narrative about post-war experiences and their impact on third-generation of survivals they convey.
The visitor who enters the room curated by Marth von Loeben is meant to undergo a subconscious emotional transformation both thanks to the artworks shown and the frame of the building where the fair takes place: we strongly believe that our theme and our artists are a perfect fit for a groundbreaking and daring fair such as The Others, which focuses on the unconventional and peculiar in contemporary art.
This ascetic experience will also be continued in the section Stages and Screen with Filippo Ficozzi’s video about the primordial research for alchemical gold; a non-linear short piece that absorbs the viewer and takes it through the riddles of a visceral experience of transcendence.
Dirk Hardy (NL)
Elevators offer us one of the strangest experiences in modern society: we are enclosed together in a small space, occupying a physical intimacy often outside our comfort level, and we do our best to avoid interaction or contact for the duration of the ride. These shared moments are seen as something to be escaped, rather than engaged with. In Void, Dutch photographer Dirk Hardy approaches the subject of being in an elevator as a stage, placing actors and lighting into an artificial setting to recreate the phenomenon of public isolation we understand so readily. Hardy zooms in on an individual’s expression while caught in a crowd, and pulls out to show the body language of disengagement or a quiet moment of contemplation when finding oneself suddenly alone. Through the micro-theatre of Void, lost moments reclaim significance.
Young Dutch artist Dirk Hardy (lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands) graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam in 2014. His staged photographic images aim to challenge the viewer to slowly break through the stylized surface and connect with the narrative and often psychological elements in the works. Obsessed with aesthetics and the photographic medium, Dirk constantly pushes to refine his craftsmanship and to develop the symbiotic relationship between form and content. Returning interests of Hardy evolve around people, society, alienation, anonymity, and modern city life. Hardy’s images are suggestive and inviting to the viewer’s personal interpretation. They are a result of Dirk’s curiosity in the complexity of man and of his urge to give the beholder a glance into his world.
Dirk’s method of working is highly influenced by also having studied architecture. His research, observations and ideas form the foundation of his work, and by carefully designing a detailed plan to communicate his vision to the viewer, Hardy is able to take full control in constructing every aspect of the process.
Dirk Hardy currently lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Israel Photo Festival
Leendert van der Meer (NL)
Sasha Zacks (IS)
Sasha Zacks is an emblematic photographer of Tel Aviv, has started his photographic experiments in Moscow. Growing from portrait photographer to the conceptual artist depicting the streets character and human behavior. Zack’s works are exploring the human personality and character that he transcends into photography. The individuality of each work marked by the human activity and delicate moment has shaped the mood of Sasha’s photography.
He explores the human influence on the surrounding. That can be Tel Aviv bus station, abandoned houses or the European cities or portraits of the encounters at the streets, in each of his work he penetrates the essence of the place, exploring it with his camera and let the viewer judge the result.
Leendert van der Meer
With his work, Leendert exploits the potential use of the photographic image and camera, but also in his role as a photographer. He investigates to which extent images, cameras and other photographic equipment manipulate reality. The foundation of the work is intuitive; van der Meer uses the camera only as a tool to play within reality. Nevertheless, he always ends up with a constructed plan and image. With these ‘constructions’, he tries to get grip on his earlier discoveries.
Leendert shares the findings mainly by (photographic) interventions and performances. He replaces a broken window with a printed image, manipulates pedestrian flow with multiple cameras and experimenters, command people by using the camera and secure his window with a monopod. By doing this, the visual world merges together with reality and constantly influence each other.
Rotterdam Photo Festival
Alexa Moon (Ru)
"My journey in photography started at the age of 19. That was the time when my whole family passed away. That moment I decided that life is too short and I must do things that really matter.
I was studying political science before. But after that wake-up call, I changed my life and came to Europe to follow my new philosophy. Art helped me a lot to survive the darkest days in my life and these philosophical findings I try to express within my works.
The tragedy in my life built me as an artist. Because of my past, I am trying to find the true beauty and the meaning of life which is full of injustice. In my artistic mission, I am trying to bring a message to people: stay conscious about given time and embrace the beauty around.
In my photography, I create my own world with my own rules. My invented world reveals the true fillings hidden inside of us. In my imagined world, I am asking the viewer important questions: what is the fear, what is loneliness, what is the essence of life? How to see the truth in the world full of false?"
Rotterdam Contemporary Art Fair
Andrey Kuzkin (Ru)
Andrey Kuzkin, Deep Self
No man in the world does not know how it feels the hesitation to go to the unexplored endeavor.
With the current exhibition, Andrey Kuzkin goes to the limit of the human mind that creates spiritual frame preventing from going out of comfort zone.
Our memories of physic pain, tragic event, failures in the past are dominating our present and projects into the future.
Andrey Kuzkin is bravely looking for his past life and memories deep inside of his nature. By expressing himself through art performances and documenting it, he recreates the flow of his life culminating in his photographic and video works.
The process of self-liberation from the past opens the door for the future.
He encourages you to follow the process of liberating and turn to the future without limits.