Photographers curious about creative digital printing and presentation methods should take an interest in the work of Dutch artist Anne de Vries, whose pieces range from two-dimensional images to multimedia installations. He prints on towels; wraps digital photographs around wood or prints on plastic to create sculptural objects; and sandwiches Forex prints together, cutting the top sheet to reveal images on the print underneath, to list just a few of his techniques. Foam Fotografiemusem Amsterdam is currently hosting the first major solo show of his work as part of their “Next Level” series of exhibitions, aimed at boosting the careers of emerging artists.
“The exhibition is a reflection on the appeal of progress, the position of the individual among the masses and the role of imaging in an increasingly globalized economy,” Foam said in a statement about the show.
For his work “Katanga Bub,” de Vries took a press image from a mineral mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo and re-photographed it underwater, distorting it. He then mounted it on a lightbox and glued onto it mobile phones—which are made using the minerals—whose screens show clear images of portions of the same press handout. For “Image Transfers,” prints of fruit still-lifes are overlaid with text detailing the “production teardown” of the images—the history and technical specs for all the hardware that went into creating them. “Forecast,” a 3D-rendered HD video, takes viewers floating through photographs of blue sky and clouds.
Exhibiting de Vries, a multi-disciplinary artist who at times works with photography and at times doesn’t, is a bold choice for a photography museum. One of Foam’s many strengths, however, is its ability to balance traditional photography with work that presses buttons. This is one of the latter shows, and may give open-minded photographers a lot to think about when considering how to realize their own work.
Letha Wilson’s Landscape Installation Art (For PDN Subscribers only; login required)