Koos Breukel & Roy Villevoye - Tí
Press Release | Amsterdam, 22 February 2013
Koos Breukel & Roy Villevoye - Tí
12 April - 19 June 2013
The Asmat in the Indonesian part of New Guinea (previously
Dutch New Guinea) is a largely impassable mangrove swamp, roughly
the same size as The Netherlands. The native inhabitants still live
here, isolated from the rest of the world. Visual artist Roy
Villevoye and photographer Koos Breukel visited the small hamlet of
Tí together at the end of 2011. This small village is situated on
the upper reaches of the Unir river in the northeastern part of the
Asmat. Tí can be reached by sailing for three days upriver from the
central small sea harbour Agats using a motorised canoe. The people
of Tí have been living in the tropical rain forest completely
isolated from the rest of the world for generations. However,
Indonesia is encouraging the commercial exploitation of the area.
For the time being Tí seems to remain unaffected by the economic
changes taking place.
Breukel and Villevoye portrayed every single one of the 120
inhabitants. They each made these portraits using their own
particular experience, way of looking and background during
photography sessions with the villagers which took place
simultaneously. Breukel installed a small mobile photo studio
whereas Villevoye simply portrayed the villagers outside. The
resulting photographs were printed immediately and given to each
person. By using the same cameras the material derived from these
sessions is equal and interchangeable.
It is fascinating to get so close to the inhabitants of Tí by
looking at the photographs. They do not have any other image of
themselves than the people around them. Breukel and Villevoye have
produced a document of a group of people still living as hunters
and gatherers. In this way they have depicted the common origins of
every human being. The idea that it concerns a particular group of
people living in Papua quickly becomes insignificant. The
exhibition shows us an image of a group of people living and
surviving together. In this way it becomes a universal images
portraying us all.
In the studio of Koos Breukel a wide variety of people come to
pose: men, women, the young and the old, students, artists, masters
and servants, family, friends and passers-by. Breukel photographs
people because he wants to find out if they have suffered some form
of injury as a result of setbacks in their lives, and if they have
managed to come to terms with this. His work is included in
important collections such as Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk
Museum Amsterdam, Fries Museum, Caldic Collection, Moma San
Francisco and Maison Europeénne de la Photographie in Paris.
Elements and people from Papua New Guinea are an oft recurring
theme in the work of Roy Villevoye. He is interested in the
functioning of a culture and how it develops in relation to other
cultures. His work has often been exhibited, amongst others at
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam, at Stedelijk Museum
Amsterdam and at Centraal Museum in Utrecht. His work is part of
collections in both the Netherlands and abroad and his films are
shown regularly at film festivals.
Tí is organised in collaboration with Motive Gallery and Van
Zoetendaal Collections. The 2011 journey to Tí of Breukel and
Villevoye was partly made possible by the support of the Mondriaan
Foundation. Thanks to Roy Taylor/Rijksakademie van beeldende
kunsten. The book Koos Breukel & Roy Villevoye, Tí published by
Lecturis & Van Zoetendaal will accompany the exhibition. [140
pages, 20x30cm, otabind paperback ISBN: 978-94-6226-008-5 | €
Ti by Koos Breukel and Roy Villevoye can be seen from 12 April
until 19 June 2013 at Foam. Open daily 10 am - 6 pm, Thurs/Fri 10
am - 9 pm. Tickets: € 8,75.
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 BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone
Westbroek, Delta Lloyd and the VandenEnde Foundation.
1017 DS Amsterdam
phone: + 31 (0)20 5516500