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280A at Unseen Amsterdam's CO-OP

Updated: Dec 28, 2018



CO-OP is the space offered by Unseen Amsterdam 2018 for artists collectives in order to showcase their work between the 21nd and 23th of September.


As said by them "this new element to Unseen’s programme puts the artists first and has been set up to stimulate collaborations between artists, as well as approaching the art commerce in novel and unconventional ways to create more sustainable careers for collectives."


Presenting an installation created in collaboration within 12 or their artists, 280A proposal for Unseen Amsterdam's CO-OP deals with the significance of the collective in times of progressive individualization, virtualization and ongoing fragmentation, but also with the idea of intensity in arts and culture. Especially for this occasion, we created a series of merged images that reflect on questions of the authorship of individual artistic production, the classical representation of individual artworks and the role of curatorial practice.


The artists submitted photographs engaging with the topic of emotionality and sentimentality against the backdrop of virtualization and the reduction to surfaces. In a second step we asked them to re-arrange the submitted material of the whole group to layered collages following the principle of “image content against individual authorship”. In the process of putting them together, the individual positions merge into the collective representation. By doing this, we asked how emotionally affected the artists are by trading their distinctive positions for a collective statement, particularly in regard to the sentimental value of the individual works. What does the desire for symbiosis mean in times where all our data (images, texts etc.) is stored in a virtual cloud joining millions of other people’s data, where instagram profiles reflect the attempt to stage a life of high intensity, but fail and still seem “flat”? In times, where “feeling alive” means posting a picture that makes your followers believe your life is full of intense experiences. Maybe only by giving up your individuality for the group, real intensity can develop, referring to a Dionysian ecstatic experience.


This overload, though, gets an antithesis in the center of the space: A 2x1x3,5 meter curtain shaft which houses a water bed inside. With the sentence “NOW THERE SHOULD BE VISUAL SILENCE” the visitor is invited to enter this little room to experience a break from the multiple sensory impressions and the visual overload of an artfair. A space for visual silence, an existential void. In this void, deprived of visual senses, the visitor can - white floating on the water bed - listen to an meditative audio talking about the idea of floating in a visual cloud and merging with a photographic idea of collective authorship.


Participating artists:

Martin Bollati, Cihad Caner, Dorotka Kaczmarek, Claudia Kraus, Christiane Peschek, Philipp Pess, Linn Phyllis Seeger, Michaela Putz, Claudio Reis, Apostolos Zerdevas and Magdalena Zoledz.


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