The first big show of a new year is always a yardstick for any gallery but over in Amsterdam the ever-excellent FOAM has set the bar high with its first offering of 2013. One Group Show is the first major solo exhibition from Thijs groot Wassink and Ruben Lundgren, whose work as WassinkLundgren we’ve long admired here at It’s Nice That. The duo describe their output as “conceptual documentary photography” and this show brings together some of their favourite projects from the past seven years. The Dutch born artists now split their time between London and Beijng and their work is marked with a multinational influence which gives it a unique viewpoint.
On the surface their projects sometimes seem frivolous – screenshots of bedroom musicians singing along to a viral Chinese hit (Aaaaaaao), a video compilation of dogs outside shops waiting for their owners, photographs of scavengers picking up bottles left in shot by the pair. But there’s always method behind the apparent madness and WassinkLundgren are able to explore serious themes through their own delightfully silly perspective.
Take WassinkLundgren is still searching a book of images put together and printed before the editing process, so that each time one was sold the artists would go through and rip out whichever pictures failed to resonate on that particular day. Or consider This land is your land where the pair collected soil from some of the most valuable real estate in Amsterdam; witty yes but also thought-provoking.
Their newest monograph Hits (published by Fw:) takes a typically left field approach too, resenting their work only through the prism of Google Images searches, as Thijs and Ruben cede control of their portfolio to the algorithmic whims of the world wide web.
One Group Show runs until March 17.