Maurice Scheltens and Liesbeth Abbenes have long been preoccupied by perspective. In fact, this year is the 18th that the artist duo – partners in life, as well as in work – have spent creating their painstakingly controlled scenes to capture on camera together. Translating their immaculately constructed three-dimensional sets into technically precise two-dimensional images, they have made a name for themselves with rich, playful and illusory works that toy with spatial dimensions, and which, though aesthetically pleasing, are conceptually rigorous first and foremost. The concept, Abbenes assures us, always precedes the picture.
Their spring exhibition at Amsterdam’s Foam Museum (from 15 March to 05 June) is something like a retrospective, giving the Dutch duo an opportunity to look back over almost two decades of work from a new perspective. And true to form, they are first rearranging the rooms their work will inhabit by uncovering windows that have not been opened in many years. “We will have light and some fresh air, hopefully. We have to give up walls for that, but it’s good to have a bit of the outside world coming in,” they say. Shifting the dimensions and conditions of the space itself will alter the way viewers see the work, and that typifies their approach to the exhibition, rethinking how the works will appear in this new context, and how they relate to each other.
What happens when you put a white flower in a vase of coloured water? It’s an experiment some of us might fondly remember from our childhood, magically transforming a bunch of flowers with a dash of food colouring.
But the results are a little more frightening in a similar experiment by French artist Cornelius de Bill Baboul, as his flowers suck the colour out of sugary energy drinks. “I think they look a little bit like dancers,” he says. “Like kids on ecstasy in a techno club celebrating the end of the world”.
“Your memory isn’t like a file in your hard-drive that stays the same every time you revisit it. It actively changes,” says John Houck, whose images, just like our memories, can be deceptive. His pieces are made cyclically, by photographing and rephotographing objects, paintings, and sheets of folded paper, adding and removing elements with each iteration. “It’s a way to get at the way in which memory is an imaginative act,” he says.
There is something frantic about David Brandon Geeting’s photography. In his latest collection, Amusement Park, the Greenpoint, Brooklyn-based artist creates a mood that is exhilarating and vibrant, but also verging on collapse, as though its tether could snap at any moment. Where his 2015 book, Infinite Power, was energetic and kinetic, with Amusement Park he’s aiming for “information overload”. “I’m not afraid of making people confused or dizzy,” he says. “I wanted it to be an onslaught of colours and forms and things that don’t make sense.”
On Post-Production, Part 1: Klaus Pichler on bringing together analogue and digital techniques The first in the series taking you behind the image. Photographer Klaus Pichler shares his secret recipe for post production and his creative know-how. Read Klaus’ feature here. On Post-Production, Part 2: An insight into photographer Dean Chalkley’s workflow In the second instalment of this series, Dean Chalkley talks authenticity, why having fun making pictures is important to him, and how post-processing is a means to an end. Read Dean’s feature here. On Post-Production, Part 3: Inside the fantastical world of photographer Simen Johan In the third instalment of this series which looks at post-processing in the photographer’s workflow, Simen Johan talks about how he creates his beguiling images and why digital capture and the best modern imaging software gives him the freedom he craves. Read Simen’s feature here. Sponsored by Adobe Make your best shots even better with Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan. With all the photography essentials, such as Lightroom and Photoshop, you’ll have the world’s leading tools to help you craft …
Austrian photographer Klaus Pichler is out climbing a volcano in Lanzarote the first time I try to get in touch. The next day he’s relaxing on the Spanish island’s sandy beaches, taking a well-deserved break after a busy 2016. In the past year, Pichler has won the first prize at Cortona on the Move for his project Golden Days Before They End, about Austria’s last remaining dive bars (featured in our November issue), and the Outstanding Artists Award from the Austrian Ministry of Culture. He has also been working on his latest personal project, This will change your life forever, an exploration of what he called the “swarm stupidity” of New Age esotericism. He’s also seen the publication of his two brand books for Schock, the German kitchen designer, both of which were designed to live up to the client’s name (and featured in BJP’s May issue). Featuring bold artificiality, wacky compositions and clashing colours, these books pair racoons with poodles, and turtles with flamingoes, and generally make the world of sinks look more exciting …