Koen Hauser: 'Tableaux'
The Ravestijn Gallery was proud to present new work by Koen Hauser (1972, The Netherlands): an open-minded quest for the simple beauty of attributes and objects stripped of functionality that will show the essence of their configuration.
Koen Hauser got his first degree in Social Psychology before he graduated in Photography at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. This combined background of social studies and art serves as an explanation for his exploratory vision with which he approaches the world: an autonomous view on things that he then marks with a unique artistic vision. In his work Hauser often makes use of archive material combined with alienating elements that flow together in a quirky yet very authentic visual idiom.
Hauser was the Photographer of the Nation, an appellation that is given to him in order to represent The Netherlands from a photographic perspective. Besides the activities initiated in that name, Hauser has also produced a personal project: TABLEAUX.
For this exhibition Hauser decided to move away from adopted conceptual ideas and instead put the core of his senses on a certain photographic realism – a focus that is presented in his own distinctive manner.
TABLEAUX deals with the visual language of those elements that have fascinated Hauser since the beginning of his career. The objects on show refer to the idiosyncratic aesthetics that reflect from scientific, often medical and anthropological artifacts that he has privately collected or that he finds in the archives of natural-historical institutions and museums. Arriving from the keenly staged scenes produced from such objects a certain authentic yet mysterious spectacle is spread out before the viewer.
This exhibition has ultimately become a statement about observing; a pure, phenomenological experience of looking at things with naive curiosity. As in earlier work of Hauser, there is a reflection on a mythical parallel universe with fairytale and realistic features. However, removed from their initial function, the objects can now be studied for what they essentially are, in all their peculiarity.
Notwithstanding the alienating effect of these surreal compositions, TABLEAUX is eventually all about the odd beauty of the objects as photographed, indicated as something that is clearly recognizable but nevertheless difficult to conceive. Hauser’s most recent work seamlessly connects with his career so far, he manages to connect the miraculous aspects of our physical world with their inscrutability. This is Hauser’s first solo exhibition at The Ravestijn Gallery.