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Photographer Iwan Baan is primarily known for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture. With no formal training in architecture, he mirrors the questions and perspectives of the everyday individuals who give meaning and context to the architecture and spaces that surround us. This artistic approach has given matters of architecture an approachable and accessible voice.
Many design and architecture websites funnel a constant stream of images to architects around the world. Most of those images are paid for by the architect themselves; they are always stylized and often heavily edited. If an electrical pole is in the way, or a piece of the façade is falling off, this disappears through the magic of Photoshop. Not so much in Baan’s photos, where it is likely to stay in place. His clients – he works for OMA, Herzog & De Meuron, Zaha Hadid Architects, Sou Fujimoto, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, SO-IL, among others – pay for a certain kind of honesty.
His photos are documented around the architecture, what people do in the space, where the space is and what the surroundings are. He sees buildings as backdrops for his photographs of people. And because people are a constant factor in his photos it allows the viewer to connect to the photo more and make it feel more natural.
Subsequent to his commissioned work, Baan also works on autonomous projects that have a strong preference for (temporary) informal city structures. A great example of this, is his series about the largest religious Hindu festival in the world: Kumbh Mela. For a period of 2 months almost 80 million people gather on an island the size of Manhattan, created by the drought of the rivers, to celebrate the festival, which is held once every 12 years. Baan’s photos of Kumbh Mela are stunning, capturing the temporary habitants of the festival in a personal and intently manner.
Roosmarijn Pallandt is an Amsterdam-based artist. She builds installations featuring her photographic prints, but also comprising 16 mm film, sound recordings, and textile objects made in collaboration with local weavers around the world. For her projects she has immersed herself in biotopes as diverse as the deserts, jungles and mountains of Japan, Tibet, Iran, and Mexico, among other places.
Duration is a vital element on many levels. The number of seconds an emulsion has been exposed to light, the drying time of paper, the shutter time of the camera, the intervals between recorded sounds: time, duration and intervals define the medium and the way it is perceived. Duration is vital for the observer, too, as Pallandt’s photographs reveal their details slowly, from the many subtle tones of grey to the matte blacks.
In her prints Pallandt focuses on materiality by experimenting with vintage photographic techniques, such as platinum and carbon printing or etching, through which faraway places can be closely examined through their representations in texture and relieved surfaces. Recollections of memories and myths thus become an act of transformation rather than mere reproduction. There is a delicate balance between intimacy and respectful distance every time Pallandt is meeting new people and places. Usually this involves engaging in long solitary walks, but also walks together with local weavers.
Between 2014 and 2019 Pallandt paid multiple visits to Japan, where she traveled the northern island of Hokkaido, and the subtropical southwesterns islands Tarama, Aogashima, Rebun, and Yonaguni, among others. The exquisite results of these journeys are now on view in the exhibition undercurrent.