Amsterdam#01 – Foam Museum


V. Yankowsky, cadets from 1910

Primrose & Me and my models @Foam Amsterdam

This is the last week of display for two exhibition at FOAM, the most famous photography gallery of Amsterdam.
describe the evolution of photography in Russia between 1860 to 1960, creating a romantic walkthrough a world that vanished two times in around 100 years.

From the multy-ethnicity of the Zarist empire, the exhibition displays wealthy families, ladies and cadets from military schools, exotic locations and population of the almost endless empire. Poverty and war are far from this pictures, but a rather curious and naive sight comes out, for the joy of enchant given by a new and magic technology, which was deeply appreciated by the Imperial family itself.

After the gap during the Great War and the Bolshevik revolution, between 20’s and 30’s the approach is completely changed, and photography becomes one of the fundamental technique of avantgard arts, between pictorialist and constructivist movement.
Eventually, with the cultural reorganization during the 30’s, the situation changes again, and photography is allowed only as propaganda medium for Social Realism, eager to show images of the happiest people in the happiest country.

After Stalin’s death, the control over culture eases, and the street pictures of russian citizens have still the living and strong breath of humanity.

Me and my models is the solo exhibition of Jan Hoek, Dutch photographer from Amsterdam.

The interesting element of this show is the different point of view it offers to visitors.
It can be an extremely interesting document of modern anthropology, a research into humankind and their relation with present aesthetic. Refugees from Ethiopia really look like tribal kings, and Dutch homeless still dream a modeling career. The primary existence of these people, and of the other models, the little drops of life we can get from what the artist was able to collect and share with us are powerful and strong.

On the other hand, watching this portraits and listening to the straightforward audio explanation given by the artist gives the possibility to picture his whole visual aesthetic: this visual filter can gives us his idea of humanity.

Both shows are ending the 17th of March 2013

Written while listening to

Schumann Album für die Jugend Op.68 – 26.


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