What struck a chord? What stood out from the crowd? What lingers on in memory as the year draws to a close?
Unseen Amsterdam is a place for visitors of all descriptions to make new photographic discoveries. From surprising titles at the Unseen Book Market to compelling new work, ‘Unseen Impressions’ sees a range of industry professionals reflect on the unexpected gems of their own recent visit.
Yana Wernicke, artist, Futures Talent Pool
I was especially fascinated by the exhibition When Records Melt, a collaborative show dedicated to raising awareness on climate change. Simon Norfolk’s image of a glacier in Switzerland had a profound effect on me, a great mass protected by a thermal blanket to keeps its ice from melting. Not only is it an absurd and beautiful image — covering something in a blanket to me alludes to warmth — it also speaks about the dire situation we are already in; the desperate and somewhat helpless measures we have to take to stop the seemingly inevitable.
The Cool Couple, the Fujifilm Faculty 2018
There were two areas of Unseen Amsterdam that impressed us most. Firstly the exhibition When Records Melt, for its affinity with the subjects and questions that we've been dealing with for some years. And secondly the CO-OP, which in our opinion was one of the most stimulating spaces to spend time in. The CO-OP presents a great opportunity to discover work from collectives from all over the world, and speak directly with the artists – not necessarily related to sales. It doesn't happen very often to have so many gathered in a single room.
Image: CO-OP, Unseen Amsterdam, 2018 © Gilda Bruno
Salvatore Vitale, Editor YET Magazine and Living Room participant
There were many artists and works at Unseen Amsterdam that fostered deeper reflection on this or that topic. But in this instance, I’d like to mention the artist Thomas Kuijpers. Perhaps I’m biased as I was part of the jury that awarded him the Grolsch Unseen Residency in 2017, but I was very much looking forward to seeing the results. I’ve been impressed by the quantity and quality of work he has managed to create. His attempt to ‘understand utopian ideas of equality and freedom in a local context’ resulted in a varied multimedia installation where words, audio, video, drawing, photography and interventions give a concrete sense of the distance between vision and reality, with a subtle critique of political systems unable to match with people’s needs.
Peter Funch, artist, When Records Melt
Seeing Rafał Milach’s prints at Jednostka Gallery from his series The First March of Gentlemen was a nice surprise. I knew the book but had never the seen the prints. They are small, colourful and intimate, and at the same time in mixing image and collage, they offer a playful and illustrative story behind each. You ask yourself if it is a new piece or from the Bauhaus era.
Image: From The First March of Gentlemen series, 2017 © Rafał Milach/JEDNOSTKA Gallery
Header Image: Shroud, Rhône Glacier, Switzerland, 2018 © Norfolk + Thymann