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Erik Kessels: Storytelling with vernacular photography

Artist talk
22/05/2019 6 PM

Over the 20 years of his career, Kessels has come to the fore as a main and unquestionable reference in the field of so-called ‘found photography’. Instead of shooting new images, for most of his projects he brings together pre-existent photographs and reuses them as tiles to form his own mosaic. He is an artist without a camera or even a lens: in his practice, photography is a ready-made element to be sampled and re-contextualised. The result is a sort of eco-system of images, through which nothing is added to the enormous quantity of imagery which now crowds out the world and grows exponentially day by day, but which on the contrary merely recoups and recycles that which is already there.

In the lecture Kessels will highlight his latest projects and gives an insight in working with the re-appropriation of images. Another subject of the lecture is the role of images in the time we live in and how you can look at these in other ways than simply consuming them.

The program will be held in English. Free entrance. Erik Kessels will be signing his books after the artist talk.


Erik Kessels

Born in Holland, in 1966, Erik Kessels is an artist, designer and curator with a special interest in photography. Starting from 1998, he has published over 60 books, mainly exploiting archive photographs, both through his own publishing house, KesselsKramer Publishing, and with other publishers around the world. He is founder of the magazine Useful Photography, launched on an international basis in 2001. He has taught in numerous universities and academies, including the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the ECAL in Lausanne and the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize. In 2017 his mid-career retrospective was shown in Turin and Düsseldorf. From March 30–August 4, 2019 his well known installation 24 hours photos is exhibited at the SF MOMA in snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks.

You can watch the talk by clicking here.