Erik Kessels is renowned for his photographic collections as well as, of course, his part in operating KesselsKramer advertising agency. One of his previous exhibitions at the FOAM Gallery in Amsterdam involved him printing out every photo uploaded onto Flickr in just one day; the resulting avalanche-threatening installation inspired an extraordinary awe from the sheer physical volume that would be impossible to communicate with mere statistics on a screen.
Such is Erik’s unorthodox mode for presentation that his latest offering at the same gallery once again pushes the curated experience of a photographic exhibition. As a show, Album Beauty is an exercise in exaggerated scale and interactive elements as gallery goers 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” as we increasingly view our 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.
The individual images are a motley bunch, each one a fascinating and charming composition that would doubtless tell its own interesting story if viewed alone. But it’s as a collection – like the Flickr installation – that the overwhelming culmination of life, death, family, happiness, pride, youth and beauty that a bigger, unexpected story is being told between them as you mentality and physically traverse the distance between the pages of this huge photo album.
Album Beauty will be on show until October 14.
- National Geographic’s creative director Emmet Smith on the publication’s redesign
- Leon Mark’s refined and infinitely stylish photography
- Sophie Harris-Taylor shares anecdotes and insights from her photo series, Sisters
- Designer Anatole Couteau's technical approach lets him communicate simply and precisely
- A peek inside Hicham Amrani's trippy new comic Svend & Xanax
- Friday Mixtape: The Orielles mix for "good times with good people"
- Pentagram rebrands Battersea dogs and cats home to visualise "personality over sentiment"
- Craig Oldham dishes out brutally honest advice to new graphic designers
- ManvsMachine create its most ambitious campaign for Air Max Day yet
- V&A announces shortlist for its Illustration Awards 2018
- Ten examples of rare letterings, from 19th-century alphabets to preliminary drawings of Futura
- Bad week for art world as Jeff Koons piece is smashed and imitation Happy Meal thrown away