How do we currently view the world around us, when looking through a lens? At the seventh edition of Amsterdam’s sprawling photography exhibition Unseen, expect a leitmotif of abstract and disappearing landscapes—in stark contrast with the current fad for perfect sunsets and easy readability (not to mention, likability).

 

 

“We live in rainbow of chaos,” said Cézanne, the ultimate observer of his terrain. In a world where we are more voyeuristic than naturalistic in our tendencies, what is our current relationship to landscape, as seen through a lens? Surely it is more than the many pictures of sunsets that are posted on Instagram every day. We seem to survey our surroundings according to their likeability, but uniqueness often ends up as ubiquitous.

This is the context that the photographer who turns to the landscape finds themselves working in today. At Unseen Amsterdam the common thread is obscurity as opposed to the clarity we expect from the camera: there’s Edouard Taufenbach‘s stereoscopic bathers at the beach and Swedish duo Klara Källström & Thobias Fäldt‘s The Last of the Lucky, which documents the first weeks after Cuba opened up to the US on the last rolls of Cuban analogue film. Alice Quaresma‘s playful planes are inspired by two fundamental movements in her native Brazil: neo-concretism and tropicalia. She introduces external materials to her photographs, to question the veracity of a flat landscape from within the picture itself. Geometric forms—naturally occurring and manmade—are juxtaposed.

The Cool Couple (a Milan-based duo) turn their eye to water, in its frozen and melting forms, perhaps one of the most important messages of all when confronting the landscape: everything you’re looking at is going to change.

 

 

Unseen Amsterdam

From 21 to 23 September at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam

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