Guest Room is a monthly online exhibition with open submissions curated in real-time by personalities from the international photography scene.
Curator - October 2015
Erik Kessels (born in 1966, lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands) is since 1996 Creative Director of communications agency KesselsKramer. As an artist and photography curator Kessels has published several books of his ‘collected’ images: »Missing Links« (1999), »The Instant Men« (2000), »in almost every picture« (2001-2015) and »Wonder« (2006). Since 2000, he has been an editor of the alternative photography magazine »Useful Photography«. Kessels has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, Écal Lausanne and at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. He made and curated exhibitions such as »Mother Nature«, »Album Beauty« and »Unfinished Father«. and co-curated »From Here on together« with Martin Parr, Joachim Schmid, Clement Cheroux and Joan Fontuberta. In 2012 Kessels was elected as the most influential creative of The Netherlands.
Selection by Erik Kessels
This is my final day of selecting for Der Greif. Thanks to everyone who entered his or her work, it was a pleasure for me looking at everything. I’ll finish my selection with a work by Alejandra Morote Peralta. The title: “When I die, go to the hairdresser’s first thing”, was the last thing her grandmother told to her mother before she passed away. The work is a clash between the past and the present, working with the same subject of beauty and feminine. An ironic work and experiment that has come out great in my opinion.
The stereotype lay out in a photograph is always to have the most important subject in the center. Decades of photographers are raised and taught with this rule. This work by the Slovakian photographer Andrea Junekova does exactly the opposite. I hardly ever saw an image where all the subjects are totally moved to the fringe of the frame. This photograph is an exciting scenery where the spectator can loose himself searching for the story.
Stunningly beautiful are the remote landscapes by Emilia Moisio. She documents traditional Finish people living far away from civilization. The difference in dimension between the people and the gigantic nature that surrounds them make the photographs stunning and slightly surrealistic. In this image a man is melting ice for water, by heating it. The comparison with the painter Jan Steen and his winter landscapes is unavoidable.
With these three women sleeping on the beach of Miami, Marco Arguello created a surrealist scenery. By isolating them from their surrounding he raises questions with this image. Why are they all in black? Are they really asleep and where do they come from? Curiosity and questions are good elements for making a great image.
A stunning image by Sandra Junker, who’s not afraid to discover the borders of beauty and ugly and is not scared to look in the fringes of contemporary photography. More of these experiments are needed in photography. Please continue Sandra!
Benoit Luisiere has created hilarious new works by re-appropriating his own family archives. Not being afraid of any amateur Photoshop skills, he made a body of photographic collages that are a pleasure and a big laugh to look at. Humor is something that is generally lacking in photography. Benoit breaks the rule.
In ‘Look Around’ Anne Beentjes provokes with the fact that nowadays everyone is occupied with their own personal electronics and not with what happens around them. Beentjes works often with the subject of different genders and how people function in their body. As a single image this ‘performative act’ stands out.
A former press house in Riga has discarded all the passport photographs of their previous employees. These photographs where once strictly private and locked into a building. Inga Erdmane and Ilze Vanaga have re-appropriate these portraits and show them as iconic as the building these employees where once working in during the Soviet era in Latvia.
Often photographs miss a disturbing element or a sign of failure. Moritz Hüttner plays with these elements in his work. This ‘Attack of the Killer Tomatoes’ reminded me of work Anna and Bernard Blume, who work with movement and serendipity in their photographs. This image can be categorized as a fantastic monumental snapshot. A beautiful disaster is about to happen.
The Dutch photographer Isolde Woudstra is creating photographs that can be described as filmic and poetic. Every image raises some kind of curiosity and wonder. Seeing ordinary things in life and making them extraordinary is a special gift. This white cat is almost standing in a pool of her own skin. It’s worth it taking a look at more of her images where she creates her own special world.
Anna Adamo’s work is made with a fine line between reality and some fictional influences. Although her work is documentary, it often has a storytelling component in it. Elements of weirdness and confusion. Like these two people having a photo-fun moment in the middle of the street, or is it something completely different. Questions great photographs should ask.
An image taken in Chanov, a small settlement at the edge of a Roma suburb in Czech republic. This photograph tells the story of the ugly and the beauty of this region in one image. Jana Plavec made a series of indoor windows showing the outdoor in such a way they almost become paintings on the wall. A beautiful observation in a rough area.
What is often seen as the biggest symbol of power in this world, turns out to be a huge coward. The series ‘Little Monsters’ by Killian Müller show the naked reality of these, often lonely, organs. On online platforms we always see the erected penis, but in daily routine it’s often less glorious. Thanks for these funny and unforgettable photographs Killian.
Maria Jose Garcia Piaggio is a photographer that studied in Perú and lives and works in Madrid at the moment. Her fascination is clearly on women as a subject in photography and how these women portray themselves and are being portrayed. She’s fascinated, studies and edits the poses and the clichés she finds within this subject. Maria Jose is a very talented photographer stepping over conventions and dares to ‘work’ with photographs after taking or finding them. Soon her first self published book will arrive!
Lukas Ilgner documented a group of homeless people in a Vienna city park. The images reveal in a very cruel way how limiting their living space is. They are including all their belongings ‘packed’ and ‘sealed’ on a park bench. But this park bench could soon become their coffin. Ilgner has been able to ‘frame’ this issue in a frightening and horrific way.
The intriguing series of photographs called ‘38’ by the Ukraine photographer Polly Karpova have a lot of mystery and personal friendships in them. Her images trigger curiosity and show that confusion is something that works very well as a subject in photography.