in our midst
Project Space Tilburg - Gust van Dijk 5 June 2015 - 1 August 2015
Much of what we take for granted about day-to-day existence is largely a figment of our imagination. From our senses to our memory, our opinions and beliefs, how we see ourselves and others, and even our sense of free will.Things are not as they seem. The power these delusions hold over people is staggering.Stories are told, retold, massaged and manipulated, spun up and handed down. it doesn’t bear any resemblance of truth by the time we evaluate and look into the details of whatever was being seen or told in the first place One of the most important components of self-identity – the autobiographical memory – is little more than an illusion. The lies and half-truths pervade every aspect of our lives,the consequence is that we been left helpless and under the direct control of chiefs who want us to believe that we are on the cusp of a sustainable recovery, or in fact we are in one… Most drivers think they’re better than average. Most people think they’re less likely to have an inflated self-opinion than average. See the problem? Actually the more we learn about the brain, the less plausible it becomes that we have free will.
Riet van Gerven Curator June 2015
in our midst
Project Space Tilburg - Gust van Dijk 5 June 2015 - 1 August 2015
Pray For Rain, 2015, 53 x 65 x 18 cm, light box with movable letters
over an expanse an unlikely dry plain of time we built an aquaduct bridging crises
praise the clouds the water cycling the rain thatâ€™s manna food forever and all
unlike the archaic our memories are present although from olden days theyâ€™re everlasting
pray for rain pray for conservation pray against entropy
dust is being gathered in bowls and shrubs in photographs and thoughts long past yet there
Collage, 2015, Âą 50 x 50 cm, 1 old press image + 2 analog b&w photographs
Collage, 2015, Âą 50 x 50 cm, 1old press image + 3 analog b&w photographs + 3 pieces of contact sheets
Tree Scissors, 2015, 210 x 300 cm, drawing on pages of last chapter of Naomi Kleinâ€™s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate (2014)
Risk Hazekamp is a photographer who has earned her stripes with an impressive track record of numerous exhibitions, nominations and prizes. For a long time she profiled herself as an artist who questioned the concept of gender identity. In various projects, in which she herself is featured, Risk aptly shows how fluid gender-identity actually is. Identity is a construct, a social story that is written by others and each other, whether consciously or not. Ironically, this approach placed her in the ‘gender identity photographer’ box which meant that you knew exactly what to expect from her. Resisting this stigma, Hazekamp deliberately chose different themeswhich are, inter alia, reflected in her exhibition There is Anarchy in our Midst. The project consists out of a series of predominantly black and white photographs made during her visit to the United States and is based on the Dust Bowl, a period of extreme drought in the 1930’s, and the economic crisis from that same period. Time appears to be cyclic, for both natural phenomena – even now, parts of the United States are afflicted by unknown drought – as for social phenomena – the photographs have been shot during the low-point of the recent economic crisis. Risk’s aim is for the viewer to reconstruct the story and to let the photographs do the ‘talking’. The photographs show dusty prairies, creaky wooden sheds, decayed factories and billboards that seem to be frozen in time. In viewing them, the photographs seem to put me on the wrong track, almost as if the camera – a device that is known to defy the always ongoing course of time – secretly looks back in time. Nothing is staged and all the depicted is as it appeared. But of course this does not mean that the region that Risk visited stood still in time: one of the main aspects of being a photographer is being a good selector. In this case, and I do not mean this disrespectful, Risk leaves a lot up to chance within this project. It would detract from the series if everything was set from the get go and if the environment was nothing more than a backdrop for a securely panned out scene. In fact, in choosing the analog path, the photographer by definition is obligated to let go of a fair amount of control, in the sense that the end result only sees the light at home in the dark room far away from their original surrounding. It does not matter to Hazekamp when a photograph turns out differently than expected. ‘Imperfection’, to Risk, is far more interesting than ‘perfection’. Embracing ‘imperfection’ is an integral part of analog photography.
Risk likes to experiment with borders. Not just the borders of time or the fluidity of identity, but in this exhibition also with the borders of her own comfort zone. Next to her medium of choice, photography, Hazekamp also applies other media in combination with her photographs in order to tell her story. A sign with lead beaten letters which spells PRAY FOR RAIN, was not only found by Risk at a church in the Oklahoma Panhandle, but is now also prominently featured in her atelier and exhibition spaces as a reproduction in the shape of a neon sign. This reduces the distance between the depicted and the viewer almost as if, next to the photographs which remain mere imprints of reality, a small piece of the depicted reality has been brought to us. It remains an illusion, but one which becomes palpably present and therefore maybe appears to be even more â€˜realâ€™ than its photographs. And then there is the drawing: a diagrammatic picture of a meaningful beetle-like machine, printed on text imprinted paper, which is worth the read. Other deformations can be found in her photography: assembling bricolages containing old press photographs provide her photographs with a less freestanding quality and make for a less autonomous picture. Fortunately, this is exactly what the photographer is after: directing the focus towards the story which the photographs tell in cooperation with each other.
SEA Foundation (SEA) is a private, non-profit, artist-run initiative that initiates and coordinates events, residencies and exhibitions. SEA provides mentoring and on-going support for artists as well as physical space for production, presentation and research. In all its activities the organization is fueled by visual arts. Transgressing the boundaries between different cultures and disciplines, SEA always puts context and the idea before the medium. By working in different cultural contexts worldwide, the foundation generates discussion by exposing and intervening within, as well as being part of, cultural processes that concentrate on current (emerging) social, political and ecological issues. SEA supports these processes in becoming more productive and solid by transforming them into in long-term working relationships and provides continuous support to guide these temporary projects in society, arts and culture.
Artist Risk Hazekamp Curator Riet van Gerven Designer JinHee Kwon www.a-text-forms.com Text and poems Robert Proost www.robertproost.nl Translation Heleen Klomp Office assistant Maaike Verwijs Printed by Drukkerij HABE, Tilburg Jan-Willem van Rijnberk without his generous support none of this would have been possible
ÂŠ 2015 SEA Foundation www.seafoundation.eu Project Space Tilburg - Gust van Dijk Tivolistraat 22, 5017HP Tilburg, The Netherlands +31 (0)13 5444495
ÂŠ 2015 SEA Foundation www.seafoundation.eu
Published on Jun 3, 2015
Images catalogue Solo exhibition of Dutch photographer Risk Hazekamp at Project Space Tilburg Exhibition dates: 5 June 2015 - 1 August 2015....