Ashleigh Kane


Oluremi Onabanjo


Guest Room is a monthly online exhibition with open submissions curated in real-time by personalities from the international photography scene.

Diana Poole

Curator - May 2020

Diana Poole, art advisor and curator, has chosen to collaborate with Jessica Backhaus. Jessica is a visual artist and is regarded as one of the most distinguished voices in contemporary photography today. This instalment of Guest Room goes out at an unprecedented time with most of the world having experienced a life in lock-down that has radically changed how we think and live.

Jessica selected the following quote from a work by Joseph Beuys (1977), as the theme for this Guest Room: “Wer Nicht Denken Will Fliegt Raus” (Who is Unwilling to Think is Dismissed).

Jessica chose this theme before Covid-19, she found it radical and particularly current during these times of post-truth politics. Then the pandemic hit, and both she and Diana felt Beuys’ words more poignantly than ever. Diana began delving into links between the two artists’ ideologies, and found a unifying thread in how their art can be seen as a “conscious act”, inseparable from everyday life. This led to a desire to bring Jessica’s work into the curation. In the last two weeks alongside the Open Call, Jessica created a series of images responding to Joseph Beuys, made in confinement in Berlin.

Thank you to all artists who have shared their work during these unsettling times. I’m inspired by the depth of thinking that has gone into every submission, so much so that I have included a few artist statements throughout the curation. – Diana


Joseph Beuys, “Wer Nicht Denken Will Fliegt Raus (Who is Unwilling to Think is Dismissed)”, 1977


Selection by Diana Poole


May 21, 2020

Kai-Uwe Gundlach Looking At Things,Hamburg, DEU, 2019
Kai-Uwe Gundlach In The Cage,Auckland, NZL, 2019
Jessica Backhaus Key, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')

May 20, 2020

Thirza Schaap Suck, Cape Town, ZAF, 2018
Joseph R Webb Zentih 1, Pennsylvania, USA, 2019

May 19, 2020

Mircea Sorin Albutiu how long do we have to wait?, Leiria, PRT, 2020
Abhishek Rajaram Khedekar DAPOLI 04, Maharastra, IND, 2018
Till Cremer Untitled, from the series Da ist [There is], Laboratorium, Braunschweig, DEU, 1997/2019

May 18, 2020

Jessica Backhaus lemons, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')
Facundo Pires set, Buenos Aires, ARG,2020

May 17, 2020

Simon Freund Klasse Pitz, Akademie der Bildenden Künste München, DEU, 2018
Joseph R Webb Scrim, Oregon, USA, 2016
Alexis Vasilikos A Sense of Space (3), Athens, GRC, 2020

“There is something which is prior to thinking, although we rarely recognize it. The space in which thoughts manifest.”

– Alexis Vasilikos (Greece, 2020), in response to the theme

May 16, 2020

Joseph R Webb Ice Flow, Pennsylvania, USA, 2015
Laura A Noel Styrofoam, Atlanta, GA, USA
Jessica Backhaus puzzle, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')

May 15, 2020

Daniel John Bracken The Fall, London, GBR, 2020
Kai-Uwe Gundlach Watering, Grasse, FRA, 2018

May 14, 2020

Jessica Backhaus butter, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')
Jessica Backhaus chairs, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')

May 13, 2020

Vasilis Nikolopoulos Covid19: An update from Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NLD, 2020
Melissa Boucher Dessous, Aubervilliers, FRA, 2020
Vasilis Nikolopoulos Covid19: An update from Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NLD, 2020

May 12, 2020

Jessica Backhaus bread, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')
Facundo Pires nunca serás pan, Buenos Aires, ARG,2020
Robin Cracknell Prussian Blue, London, GRB, 2016

“During the days in quarantine, unable to go to my study, the discards of everyday objects of consumption manifest properties that previously seemed invisible to me.”

– Facundo Pires (Argentina, 2020), in response to the theme

May 11, 2020

Sam Hutchinson Situation with porous foam, structure 3, Leeds, GBR, 2020
Thirza Schaap Southeaster, Cape Town, ZAF, 2018

May 10, 2020

Ulrike Hannemann Lagocephalus laevigatus, Kodak Professional Ultra Endura N, cutting mat, Studio, DEU, 2016
Jessica Backhaus blue soap, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')
Anastasia Davis Untitled (fold), Pittsburgh, PA, USA, 2019

May 09, 2020

Kamilla Bryzgalova Life of plants, Moscow, RUS, 2019
Anders Siddhartha Toustrup Darre Let me out, Copenhagen Botanical Garden, DNK
Alexis Vasilikos A Sense of Space (1), Lisbon, PRT, 2020

“Can we be dismissed from our own life by our thoughts? Humans can achieve unimaginable things because of our ability to think. But at the same time, our thoughts can confine us.”

– Anders S. Toustrup Darre (Denmark, 2020), in response to the theme

May 08, 2020

Peter Hauser Zollikerberg, Zürich, CHE, 2020
Michael Kruger AR N.London (St Therese), London, GBR, 2020

“The images are not solely reflections of found situations….They depict the silence after the storm, the remnants of turbulent events and the search for beauty in destruction.”

– Peter Hauser (Switzerland, 2020), in response to the theme

May 07, 2020

Louis De Belle Cartographies 2, New York, USA
Jessica Backhaus telephone, 2020 (from the series 'Confinement in Berlin')
Ulrike Hannemann Mamiya Film Magazine, Setting 2, Studio, DEU, 2018