UNSEEN which takes place over the next 4 days in Amsterdam is the most important photography fair in the Netherlands. John Devos, our correspondent for Belgium and Holland, has prepared this fantastic edition for you.
UNSEEN is an art fair dedicated to the latest developments in contemporary photography. Contemporary photography offers unexpected perspectives and stems from different backgrounds. We see photographers making use of the medium in innovative, intelligent, inspiring and provocative ways. Unseen connects the new with the established and the established with the new, creating a platform that has become an important insight into the latest developments and directions the medium of photography is taking Amongst its 73.. galleries are established international photography and contemporary art galleries, as well as young up and coming initiatives.
The Westergasfabriek is an iconic former gasworks in Amsterdam, dating from 1885 now redeveloped in a formidable cultural venue. The 60m circular gasholder is the location of the fair, the Transformerbuilding of UNBOUND, the Meijburg lounge is in the Westerliefde (can you imagine a more lyric name for a building than Western Love?) and the book fair is organised in a pavilion in between.
Events at the Meijburg Lounge:
On Saturday at 14:00 in Across the Connection, The Eriskay Connection presents six authors who have recently published a book: Hiske Altena (NL), Seppe Vancraywinkel (BE), Regine Petersen (DE), Kristof Titeca (BE), Katherine Longly (BE) and Sheung Yiu (HK/FI)
Also on Saturday at 17:00 Mathieu Asselin presents an artist walk through his series True Colors. True Colors from Mathieu Asselin draws inspiration from the Dieselgate scandal and takes a revealing look at the tumultuous relationship between the car industry and our precious landscape.
And on Sunday at noon Jacob and Sara Aue Sobol talk about their project & book/box Hunting Heart
Unbound is an independent foundation of Unseen, dedicated to exploring the expanding outer limits of the photographic universe on a monumental scale, and Unseen’s most ambitious project to date. Each year during Unseen around 12 large scale, boundary breaking projects are selected by an independent external guest curator in a sensory exhibition in the 700 m2 industrial heritage Transformatorhuis hall at the fair.
This coming edition, Unseen will host its Book Market once again with around 60 (inter)national participants. The well-loved part of the fair for independent publishers of photography books will present a broad range of special publications, with book launches. The Book Market takes place in an outside pavilion, next to the Unseen Photo Fair and the Transformatorhuis.
Friday 22 September: Be Like Water, Published by Mousse Publishing by Anouk Kruithof 817.30
Saturday 23 September: 13.00 Book signing I Want Orgasms, Not Roses Éva Szombat Kehrer Verlag (how can you resist a book with such a title???)
16.00 Book signing by the great artist Bastiaan Woudt of 1605 collective
Sunday 23 September at 11.00 Sanja Marusic & Anton Corbijn at 14:30 at Hannibal books
In our contributions we will talk of about 43 galleries present on the fair, and an illustrated view of about 80 artists. Personally, I’m already looking forward to discovering the work of classics such as Dirk Braeckman, Mathieu Asselin, Sanlé Sory, Paul Cupido and Erwin Olaf – or lesser-known artists such as Daphne van de Velde, Modou Dieng Yacine, Dana Cojbuc, Gert Motmans & Ronin de Goede, Mayumi Suzuki, Deni Horvatic, Lin Zhipeng, Nonzuzo Gxekwa, Popel Coumou, Vytautas Kumža and many others… We will try to give you an insight on the events, but there is only one way to convince you: visit the fair!
Westergas, 21-24 September 2023
Friday 22 September 11.00 – 21.00
Saturday 23 September 11.00 – 19.00
Sunday 24 September 11.00 – 19.00
Tickets only online!
In these contributions, we focus on following galleries
193 Gallery Paris France
acb galleria Budapest Hungary
Ag Galerie Teheran Iran
Albumen Gallery London UK
ARTITLEDcontemporary Herpen The Netherlands
Bigainon Paris France
Bildhalle Amsterdam/Zurich The Netherlands / Switzerland
Bradwolff & Partners Amsterdam The Netherlands
Contour Gallery Rotterdam The Netherlands
Echo Fine Arts French Riviera France
Galerie Écho 119 Paris France
Galerie Wilms Venlo The Netherlands
Galerie Wouter van Leeuwen Amsterdam The Netherlands
Gallery Untitled Rotterdam The Netherlands
Homecoming Gallery Amsterdam The Netherlands
Hopstreet Brussels/Deurle Belgium
Ibasho Antwerp Belgium
Kana Kawanishi Tokyo Japan
Lab 1930. Fotografia contemporanea Milano Italy
nüüd.berlin gallery Berlin Germany
O-68 Velp The Netherlands
Photo Gallery Japanesque Paris/Tokyo/Kyoto France/ Japan
Project 2.0 / Gallery The Hague The Netherlands
Ravestijn Amsterdam The Netherlands
Roof-A Rotterdam The Netherlands
Root Gallery Krimpen aan de Lek The Netherlands
Rutger Brandt Gallery Amsterdam The Netherlands
Small Projects Tromsoe Norway
Spazio Nuovo Rome Italy
Studio Seine Rotterdam The Netherlands
THIS IS NO FANTASY Melbourne, Australia
The Bridge Gallery Paris France
THK Gallery Cape Town / Cologne South Africa / Germany
TOBE Gallery Budapest Hungary
Tommy Simoens Antwerp Belgium
TORCH Gallery Amsterdam The Netherlands
V/MSP Gallery Brussels Belgium
Versus Art Project Istanbul Turkey
And the artists in alphabetical order:
Parisa Aminolahi (Iran / Netherlands)
Sarfo Emmanuel Annor (2002 Ghana)
Maurizio Anzeri (Italy)
Mathieu Asselin (France)
Aneta Bartos (1982 Poland)
Tom Blachford (Australia)
Derrick Ofosu Boateng (Ghana)
Dirk Braeckman (Belgium)
Thorsten Brinkmann (Germany)
Alessandra Calò (Italy)
Julie Cockburn (UK )
Dana Cojbuc (Rumania/France)
Popel Coumou (1978 The Netherlands)
Paul Cupido (The Netherlands)
Ronin de Goede (The Netherlands)
Sophie de Vos (The Netherlands)
Fatoumata Diabaté (1980 Mali)
Máté Dobokay (Hun)
Willow Evann (Ivoire/ France)
Eva Faché (Belgium)
Caroline Gavazzi (France Italy)
Nonzuzo Gxekwa(1981 South Africa)
Dirk Hardy (The Netherlands)
Johnny Mae Hauser (Germany/The Netherlands)
Lisanne Hoogerwerf (The Netherlands)
Deni Horvatić (Croatia)
Tamami Iinuma (Japan)
Sara Imloul (France)
Ai Iwane (Japan/ US)
Suzanne Jongmans (The Netherlands)
Yasuo Kiyonaga (Japan)
Tahné Kleijn (The Netherlands)
Sebastiaan Knot (The Netherlands)
Katrin Korfmann (Germany)
Maaike Kramer (The Netherlands)
Grete Andrea Kvaal (Norway)
Anna Laza (Rom/ France)
Edgar Leciejewski (1977 Germany)
Lieven Lefere (1978 Belgium)
Giuseppe Lo Schiavo (Italy)
Akos Major (1974 Hungary)
Bas Meeuws (The Netherlands)
Johno Mellish (1991 South Africa)
Gert Motmans (Belgium)
Alireza Movahedi (Iran)
Katalin Nádor (Hun)
Naohiro Ninomiya (Japan
Sakiko Nomura (Japan)
Yoshiki Omote (Japan)
Metehan Özcan (Turkey)
Jet Pascua (Philippines)
Cecilia Paredes (Peru)
Eszter Porozlaï (Hun)
Jeff Robb (UK)
Almudena Romero (1984 Spain/UK)
Jan C. Schlegel (German)
Bryan Schutmaat US
Marike Schuurman (The Netherlands)
Chloe Sells (France)
Homayoun Sirizi (Iran)
Niklas Soestmeyer (Germany)
Sanlé Sory (Burkina Fasso)
Trevor Stuurman (1992 South Africa)
Selim Süme (Turkey)
Mayumi Suzuki (Japan)
Ali Tahayori (1980 Iran / Australia)
Dafna Talmor (Israel/UK 1974)
Louise te Poele (The Netherlands)
Le Nghi Teng (Vietnam/ The Netherlands)
Wanda Tuerlinckx (Belgium/The Netherlands)
Nele van Canneyt (Belgium)
Vincent van de Wijngaard (The Netherlands)
Mark van den Brink The Netherlands
Julie van der Vaart (The Netherlands / Belgium)
Daphne van de Velde (The Netherlands)
Jan Theun van Rees (The Netherlands)
Dean West (USA)
Modou Dieng Yacine (Usa Senegal)
Mohsen Yazdipour (Iran)
Daan Zuijderwijk (The Netherlands)
AKMAR (The Netherlands)
Awoiska van der Molen (The Netherlands)
Moravid K (Iran/ France/ Germany)
Jaehun Park (Korea)
Thom van Rijckevorsel (The Netherlands)
UNSEEN 2023– Galleries at UNSEEN fair Part 1 (images 2 – 8)
193 Gallery Paris- Maurizio Anzeri (Italy 1969) (images 2)
Anzeri studied sculpture and graphic design at the Camberwell College of Fine Arts, and received his MFA from The Slade School of Fine Art, London.
His work has been exhibited in solo shows at V&A Museum London UK; Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, UK; Cardiff Arts Centre, UK; and other locations in New York, Milan, Dusseldorf, Turin and London. Notable group exhibitions include Know and Strange: Photographs from the Collection V&A, On The Move at The Box Museum Plymouth, UK; Self Service at Dallas Contemporary, TX (2019); Iconoclasts: Art Out of the Mainstream, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK (2017); The King and I, Shanghai Gallery of Art, China(2016); The Needle’s Eye: Contemporary Embroidery, National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo, Norway (2015); Secondhand, Pier 24Photography, San Francisco, CA (2015); UK Photography Now: The Constructed View, Dong Gang Museum of Photography, Seoul, Korea(2013); and One Night In Paris, The Photographer’s Gallery, London, UK(2009). His work is held in collections including the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; The Pilara Foundation Collection, Pier 24Photography, San Francisco, CA; Museo Cantonale, Lugano, Switzerland; Museum Kunstpalast, Dusseldorf, Germany; and the Saatchi, Gagosian, and Rothschild collections.
193 Gallery Paris – Modou Dieng Yacine (1970 USA & Senegal) (images 3)
Modou Dieng Yacine was born in Saint-Louis, Senegal, a French colonial town built in the 17th century. As a Senegalese, but above all as an African, Modou Dieng Yacine opens the dialogue between Africa and the West, the cultures and values that unite us.
The series presented is dedicated to the black soldiers of Africa and America, particularly the Senegalese riflemen. Between 1939 and 1945, more than 300,000 Africans from the colonies of French West Africa (AOF) and French Equatorial Africa (AEF) were incorporated, mostly by force, into the Senegalese Tirailleurs corps.
More than an example for him, the artist has immersed himself in the identity of these young black heroes through this ‘mixed media’ series in an abstract style that he says has an American influence.
With this series, Modou Dieng Yacine advocates intergenerational and democratic dialogue, but above all a message of peace. For him, it is a hymn to Africa, proud of its ancestors and its ancestral values, praising the long road it has travelled.
Modou Dieng Yacine is a graduate of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dakar, Senegal, and holds a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the prestigious San Francisco Art Institute. During his rich artistic career, Dieng was also professor and then director of the art and painting department at the Pacific Northwestern College of Art in Portland for 10 years. He is also the co-founder of Worksound, a collaborative space for West Coast and international artists. Modou Dieng Yacine’s work can be found in the collections all over the world. Dieng now lives in Chicago, Illinois, a city he sees as a new centre of renaissance, where he focuses on his creative work as well as his curatorial role.
193 Gallery Paris- Eszter Porozlaï (1974 Hungary) (images 4)
“…all periods of time – a century, a year, a single night, perhaps even the elusive present – implies the whole of history.” J.L. Borges
“I explore the essential phenomena of vision and perception, the interrelation of reality and image, the transition between materiality and virtuality. Inspired by the art of light, but remaining faithful to the work of the hand and to matter, I construct paintings, graphic works, objects and sensual abstract geometric installations: rational and precise geometric forms are transformed into transparent coloured structures, sometimes seemingly immaterial. I seek to harmonize instincts and emotions with structure, system and order.”
“Insta(nt)llations” (embroidered cyanotypes)
“Last year, as a reaction to Covid19, the closures of exhibition spaces and public spaces, and the limits imposed on our lives, I found the infinite space of the imagination, where anything is possible in an instant: I designed abstract geometric installations in architectural spaces, often sacred, and in abstract spaces: spheres (of time). A point extends into space, creating a cone to connect universes. An important feature of the series is that, whereas they could have been created using 3D VR software, to immerse the viewer in a ‘disembodied’ experience, they are created using an archaic photographic process and painstaking, time-consuming handwork.”
193 Gallery Paris – Willow Evann (1985 Ivory Coast/France) (images 5)
Willow Evann was born in 1985 and lives and works in the Paris region. A protean artist with multiple influences, Willow Evann is a visual artist, dancer and photographer. He comes from a housing estate in Bondy in the suburb of Paris and is originally from Côte d’Ivoire. At the heart of his artistic practice, Willow Evann examines his origins and identity, the fruit of French colonial history in Africa.
From an early age, the artist felt the need to express himself through dance. Lulled from his earliest childhood by the reggae his father listened to, he has been immersed in hip-hop culture since the age of 10. He then turned to Locking (a dance that originated on the West Coast of the United States in 1970). Today he is regarded as a key figure in this movement.
The artist then turned to photography, and in 2019 joined the Kourtrajmé school, where he experimented with and developed his visual language.
Most of Willow Evann’s work focuses on the representation of black people in the West. To achieve this, the artist uses several media, but wood quickly becomes his preferred material. In his hands, this material, which he learned to handle on his own, becomes a veritable metaphor for the transport of memory.
“I question the transport of black memory in Western spaces. Where do we come from, where do we fit in, we the diaspora who change continents and rebuild our lives in a land where we were never born? My research is also strongly influenced by the misrepresentation of black people in the West, which leads to discrimination.”
24 & 21 rue Béranger
acb galleria Budapest – Katalin Nádor (1938-2018 Hungary) (images 6) & Máté Dobokay (1988 Hungary)(images 7)
Acb Gallery presents a visual dialogue between two Hungarian photographers of different generations, Katalin Nádor (1938-2018) and Máté Dobokay (b. 1988), both originating from the southern city of Pécs. Known as the cradle of Hungarian Bauhaus, Pécs offers to this day a fertile artistic ground where the artistic and architectural, geometric and constructivist legacy, the Op art tendencies as well as the spirit of the Bauhaus which was open and supportive of versatility, remains tangible.
In her experimental practice unfolding from 1963 to the end of the 1970s, and resulting in both geometric and organic abstraction, Katalin Nádor pursued the avant-garde photographic traditions represented by György Kepes and László Moholy-Nagy, the theories of bio-romanticism developed by Ernő Kállai, but also reflected on the contemporary, new constructivist, geometric artistic endeavours of the Pécs art scene. Her photograms, graphical still-life analyses reveal an unwavering intention to highlight the unity of the world through its details; a sensitive, singular artistic perspective that examines the aesthetical relation and reciprocity between nature and architecture, landscape and object through the lens of abstract photography.
Máté Dobokay’s body of conceptual artworks pushes the boundaries of photography: they uncover the inner structures, raw materials, chemical and physical components of photography, often without a camera and as a result of lengthy research experimentation. In his analytical pieces that bear close connection with the history of painting, the paper, the photographic substances, as well as the chemical reactions all serve as means of artistic examination and of exploration of the medium itself.
Dissolution of silver from used fixer solution, deterioration, erosion and fading physical or chemical memory of the matter, fragile, almost ghostly marks and patterns left by silver residues on glass, zinc or paper, or imprints of chemicals seeping into the creases of the photo paper: Dobokay’s chemigrams and photograms write a peculiar poetry of the raw components of photography.
Beyond formal parallels and correlations such as geometric compositions and organic motifs, lightening and darkening grades or the random play of chemicals on the light-sensitive paper, the dialogue that unfolds between Katalin Nádor’s and Máté Dobokay’s works roots deep in the essence of photography: it highlights how their respective experimental and playful approach to the photographic medium and its matters unfolds into the abstract realm. The pieces selected for the Past/Present section of Unseen obscure the subject of the photograph and blur the border distinguishing photograms, chemigrams and photographs. Although they result in seemingly ethereal, almost disembodied images or compositions, they also bear witness of both artists’ physical presence: photography is not only a medium for the eye, but also for the mind and the hand.
Király utca 76.,
Ag Galerie Teheran -PARISA AMINOLAHI (1978 Iran) (Images 8)
The Year of Woven Dreams – “My dearest mother passed away in winter 2022, in Tehran. I was in total shock and denial. I couldn’t believe that neither one of my parents would no longer be in my hometown. With my mother’s sudden and tragic departure, everything related to my past was somehow erased. And I was left with the confusion and uncertainty of how to frame my past for my children.”
Six months after Aminolahi’s mother passed away, Iran fell into a cycle of protests led by its brave women. Iranians in the diaspora like her were not able to return due to the risk of being unable to leave. This mean that many lost their connection to their homeland. Yet they continue to feel deeply the events unfolding in Iran and many are at a loss as to how they should explain the new situation to their children. Keeping their memories and history alive for their children is a challenge. This series is the result of pondering over this challenge and dreaming of merging two different eras and geographies together. It presents Iran and the outside world from a time when the artist’s parents were alive and the present featuring her children. “At least in my thoughts and dreams I can picture a motherland, and grandparents living there, waiting for my daughters.”
Parisa Aminolahi (Tehran, Iran) is a freelance filmmaker, photographer and painter based in the Netherlands. Her work covers a spectrum of themes such as displacement, exile, homeland, family and childhood memories, using old family photographs, self-portraits and her own family members as her subjects. Her mediums range from photography, documentary filmmaking, animation, painting and mixed media.
#3 South Pesyan Street, Valiasr Street,
Correspondent L’Œil de la Photographie/Eye of Photographie