Thursday, 7 February 2013

Artist talk WassinkLundgren

Artist talk, WassinkLundgren © Foam


To accompany their exhibition, One Group Show, the first solo exhibition by WassinkLundgren, an artist talk was organized with the photographer duo, hosted by curator Kim Knoppers.

WassinkLundgren acknowledge their allergy to 'schoolmarmish' photography. As artists they like to play around. In the series 'This Land is Your Land- This Land is My Land' they dress up like businessmen going to work. But in reality they go out to dig up soil. In the project 'Is Still searching' (2006) they experimented with the presentation of photos, creating unique versions of a book by ripping out pages which they did not approve of.

The duo tries to get their point across that art should be accompanied by a sense of humour. That is not to say that there is no seriousness about what they do. But it is the balance between humour and in-depth analysis that is central to their work.

Also part of the duo's approach is to challenge viewers with work that is not necessarily explicit in its meaning. Does it always need to be clear what a photographer is presenting you with?  To elaborate, WassinkLundgren cite their series, '30 minuten', directed by Arjan Ederveen. In one, a Dutch farmer suffers from an identity crisis and longs for another life as a native in Zaire. At first you think you are watching a serious documentary. Later on you realize you are actually watching a mockumentary. The series was developed as a satire on documentaries and reality TV. Viewers were led into thinking what they were watching was real. And if you take the work of WassinkLundgren too seriously you might think the same.

Some art viewers might feel mocked by this apparent toying with the audience, but others will feel invited to explore and wonder. It is the opaque nature of the artists' intentions that really defines WassinkLundgren.

So if you're visiting the exhibition, One Group Show, don't be shy, just play along. That includes with their art installation, 'please take one'. It means exactly that.

Margriet van Vianen

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