Press release | Amsterdam, 3 May 2012
Album Beauty - Erik Kessels
29 June - 23 September 2012
Album Beauty is an ode to the
vanishing era of the photo album as told through
the collection of Erik Kessels (1966, The
Netherlands). Once commonplace in every home, the
photo album has been replaced by the digital age where images live
online and on hard drives. Photo albums were once a repository for
family history, often representing a manufactured family as edited
for display. They speak of birth, death, beauty, sexuality, pride,
happiness, youth, competition, exploration, complicity and
friendship. Album Beauty is an exhibition about the visual
anthropology of the photo album.
Walking through the exhibition will be like leafing through a
photo album. Erik Kessels is known for his unorthodox manner
of installation and Album Beauty is no exception. On display
will be hundreds of photo albums, all telling different but
familiar stories. Some albums will be exaggerated in size and
exhibited as wallpaper while others will be displayed in their
original format. There will be interactive albums to flip
through and life size cut outs for the viewer to walk around.
Album Beauty features the endless formats of analogue photography
many of which are no longer manufactured as well.
Erick Kessels is a collector of vernacular photography and has
spent many a Saturday at outdoor markets and junk stores collecting
these amateur narratives. He is often drawn to their
imperfections. These flawed executions and/or scared
appearances of old age tell another part of their story.
According to Kessels: "A long and dedicated search through
photo albums will occasionally reveal something less than
perfection, something other than an entry in the competition to
appear normal. And in these cracks, beauty may be found."
Kessels has published several books on vernacular photography.
He is also an editor of the alternative photography magazine Useful
Photography in which various forms of applied photography are
presented. This includes images posted on eBay, pictures of missing
persons, photos used in advertising, and failed amateur snaps. He
has curated exhibitions such as Foam's inaugural exhibition Dutch
Delight in 2001, and co-curated the New York Photo Festival in
2010, and From Here on at Rencontres Internationales de la
Photographie in Arles in 2011. Kessels is co-founder and creative
director of KesselsKramer, an independent international
communications agency located in Amsterdam and London.
Album Beauty has an accompanying book published by RVB Books and
will be on sale at Foam.
Take a look at the plans for the exhibition, desinged by
Album Beauty by Erik Kessels can be seen 29 June to 23
September 2012 in Foam. Open daily 10 am - 6 pm, Thurs/Fri 10 am -
9 pm. Tickets: € 8,50.
Note to editors: For information
and visual material please contact the communications department,
e-mail foam[at]foam.org or phone +31 (0)20 5516500.
Foam is sponsored by the BankGiroLoterij, De Brauw Blackstone
Westbroek, Delta Lloyd and the VandenEnde Foundation.
1017 DS Amsterdam
phone: + 31 (0)20 5516500