Erik Kessel's Album Beauty at the FOAM Amsterdam

Display of Erik Kessel's Album Beauty @ Foam Amsterdam
[Erik Kessel's Album Beauty at FOAM Gallery]

Erik Kessels a collector of nostalgic found photography and in his spare time run an advertising agency (or the other way around). One of his previous exhibitions at the FOAM Gallery in Amsterdam- Mr Kessel printed out what is supposedly a million pictures (allegedly every photo uploaded onto flickr on 1 day) and dumped them in Amsterdam’s Foam Gallery.

[One Day’s Worth of Flickr Uploads]

Such is Erik’s mode for presentation is again unorthodox - but jubilantly fun once again pushing the curated experience of a photographic exhibition. As a show, you're in Alice of Wonderland exaggerated scalee and interactive elements as viewers are invited to walk about this “visual anthropology” of intimate and ambiguous family photos that Kessel’s has collected.

It is an “ode to the vanishing era of the photo album” today we mostly see photographs increasingly as snapshots in exclusively digital spaces. Viewing them as huge wallpaper-like surfaces, the blemishes and scars of their physicality are also enlarged, hinting at the impermanence of the medium but also the personality of such things. And, as portraits and group shots reach human scale, it’s easy to imagine the viewer as part of the sequence of photos.
You don't see so many interesting in the far flung outposts such as Delhi - so it was quiet a breath of fresh air.   There were even quiet a few Indian photo albums on display from 60s and 70s.
"Joanna was born in breach candy hospital today. She looked beautiful" - someone had scribbled text to the picture.
Album Beauty will be on show until October 14.

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