About the exhibition
For the Special Exhibitions section at EXPO Chicago 2022 The Gallery Club is presenting the exhibition undercurrent, featuring the work of photographer Iwan Baan and artist Roosmarijn Pallandt. Baan and Pallandt travel to the far away corners of the world, but are very different in their artistic approach. It was a wish of both artists to collaborate one day on a project and The Gallery Club is happy to enable their wish through this exhibition.
The explosions of color in Baan’s work are in stark contrast to Pallandt’s introvert black and white masterpieces. But when taking the time to carefully observe the work of both photographers, the similarities become more and more apparent: their striking attention for detail and composition; completely blending into their surroundings; the important role that textiles, thread, bamboo and wood plays in the work of both photographers; the magical power of indigenous rituals (Pallandt) and religious traditions (Baan); and the creation of structures, visible and invisible for their society.
This is exhibition is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fonds and Fonds Kwadraat.
Photographer Iwan Baan (1975) 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, Francis Kéré, 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 (1977) is a trans-disciplinary artist based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. In order to develop her practice she has travelled within specific areas of the world, spending time with and learning from people who live in great harmony with and have an advanced knowledge of the natural world.
Her work originates from human interactions, indigenous cosmologies, ecological encounters and the nocturnal nature experience. For her exhibitions she creates immersive installations that comprise photography, sound, textiles and film. Her works portray and convey living energy, natural resonance and generative force, and the invisible bonds that make up the fabric of life.
With this series she explores ancient indigenous sonic rituals in relation to the emerge of form. Using textiles to capture ancestral rhythms that mark the deep bonds between people and natural world. The textiles that she made in close collaboration with indigenous weavers and shamans are made of various types of tree bark. The production process requires full attunement to the gravitational pulling of moon and the flow of sap inside the tree.
‘To work with the raw materials from the forest, the tree, feels like I’m working with the direct translation of the inner workings of time and space within the forest and within the weaver who created the fabric. The tree behaves the same in the forest as it does in the textile. Both visible and invisible, they are places in which to dream: they refute language because they are made of it’. – Roosmarijn Pallandt