Private opening: 19 November 2022 / 12:00 - 20:00
Public days: 20 - 27 November 2022 / 11:00 - 18:00
At PAN Amsterdam 2022, The Ravestijn Gallery presents a selection of works by Cortis & Sonderegger (DE/CH), Scheltens & Abbenes (NL), Michel Lamoller (DE), Theis Wendt (DK), Patrick Waterhouse (UK) and Matt Lipps (US). With an impressive range of visual approaches, their projects cover a wealth of themes – from the changing relationships between mankind and nature to the enduring impact of the past.
For Cortis & Sonderegger, each of their studio-constructed works reflects a seismic historical event – one that was cemented in the public imagination by a widely-disseminated photograph. The Icons project sees the duo meticulously recreate these images on a miniature scale, be it the first lunar landings or the procession of tanks at the Tian’anmen Square protests. Flattened into two-dimensions by the camera, the frame broadens in the final photographs, revealing the tools and materials that brought these scenes back to life.
History, too, is a central component of Patrick Waterhouse’s Restricted Images project, which was made in collaboration with aboriginal communities in Central Australia. Where colonial-era studies of aboriginal life – led by British ethnologists – had served to exoticise these communities, photographic documentation has also infringed upon local protocols by showing sacred sites and the dead. Over a century on, Waterhouse’s project invites a closer inspection of colonial history, proffering a new, sensitive visual approach; the photographs he took in Warlpiri country are ‘restricted’ and amended by community members through the process of painting.
In the presented works by Scheltens & Abbenes, there are echoes of Cortis & Sonderegger’s reconstructions of the past, and of Waterhouse’s attention to traditions in painting. Strongly reminiscent of Dutch 17th century still-lifes, these floral images are instead photo-collages from the early 2000s. Steeped in bright colour and further enhanced by dark backdrops, the works reflect Scheltens & Abbenes’ playful approach to image-making – an approach that threads through their personal work as well as their commissions from the worlds of fashion and design.
Like Scheltens & Abbenes, German artist Michel Lamoller creates new works from his own deconstructed photographs: after printing a series of similar – if not identical – images, Lamoller intuitively dissects parts from each, before presenting them together in a bespoke frame, layer by layer. The process of cutting creates new portals in the final product, highlighting particular sections of his dense, urban cityscapes. The Anthropogenic Mass reflects on an age in which the mass of everything manmade is believed to have surpassed that of all things organic.
For Theis Wendt, the relationship between man and nature in an increasingly synthetic world is one of various research interests that inform his conceptual pieces. Deliberately suspended between images and objects, his illusory works – where, in this instance, the textures of a wooden frame are extruded into the abyss – consider the implications of an image losing its referent. It’s a timely question for an era in which renderings of reality have come to displace authentic experiences of the world.
Matt Lipps refers to his practice as being "in, with, and alongside photography," to call attention to the profound ways in which we relate to notions of ‘the photographic’ as a shared historical artifact, a means of social engagement, and a material object. Employing collage strategies, sculptural tropes, and theater staging, he constructs three-dimensional compositions of appropriated images from high and low culture made into autonomous paper-dolls to be re-photographed. The newly-positioned constellation of images invites dialog about how photographs reflect and shape our ideas of self and other, the worlds we inhabit, and how we move through them.