Vague Storytelling @Camera Club of New York

Exhibition Vague Storytelling opened on September 14, 2012 at the Camera Club of New York (CCNY). The exhibition aimed to present four projects by five artists exploring “the idea of myth and place”. It turns out to be one of those rare occasions when I am able to present the entire exhibition right here in my blog:

From Florian Göttke & Rebecca Sakoun’s project

From Esopus Island by Pierre Le Hors

From 83 Days of Darkness by Niels Stomps

From Anderz, Saskia, 2012 by Wytske van Keulen

Still being interested to actually see the works, I went online. I have found two out of four projects from the show.

Wytske van Keulen’s Anderz, Saskia, 2012 brings together two individuals, Andrez and Saskia, who for different reasons have chosen to live as outsiders to modern society. Andrez is a Spanish widower who, after the tragic death of his wife and unborn child, decided to live in solitude high up in the mountains. Dutch-born Saskia was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Since then she’s been trying to fight her illness by moving around from one place to another. In June 2011 Saskia lost her battle. The photographer has been working on the series since 2009 in the eastern part of the French Pyrenees.

The project is still in progress. The selection of 18 images is available on Wytske van Keulen’s website. At the exhibition the series was presented as a number of slides in particular order shown from a slide projector. It consists of portraits of Andrez and Saskia, images of places they live with some detailed look on their possessions, and photographs of Pyrenees landscapes. Both storylines are mixed together in a way that the viewer can’t tell what photograph belongs to which story. Wytske van Keulen’s project immediately got connected in my head to Alec Soth’s Broken Manual seen earlier this year at Sean Kelly Gallery.

Niels Stomps’ 83 Days of Darkness explores the North Italian village of Viganella that stays in shadow of the Alps for 3 months a year. A large computer-operated mirror has been built 500 meters up the slope high above the village. For seven hours a day it reflects the sunlight to the central square of the village. Such a surreal place it might be! See the project on Niels Stomps’ website. I really loved some of the landscapes from the series.

I would still be interested to see two other projects:
–   Pierre Le Hors’ Esopus Island that documents a remote island on the Hudson River where Aleister Crowley allegedly lived for a month in 1918, and
–   Florian Göttke & Rebecca Sakoun’s studio recreation of their experiences on Baffin Island.

The nicely written press release for the show that actually made me go there was not enough to make up my mind about the works and connections between them. In this case the storytelling stays vague indeed.

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