Karolien Chromiak / Johan Nieuwenhuize
Tique | art space presents work by Antwerp based artist Karolien Chromiak and Dutch artist Johan Nieuwenhuize in a duo exhibition.
Originating from an interest in light capturing media, Karolien Chromiak creates a wide range of multimedial work. The breeding ground of some works is highly connected to specific socio-economic backgrounds and scientific and philosophical subjects, whilst other works start out of an interest in disappearing representation and alienating aesthetics, through collecting objects and assembling narratives.
Characteristically is that the difference between both starting points isn’t visible in the end result. Chromiak gets inspired by how a space looks in a certain light, but she also reacts to concepts of theoretical physics and capitalistic decay. In her audiovisual installations she mixes these temporal visual inputs & overarching concepts and structures.
Johan Nieuwenhuize (Oost-Souburg, the Netherlands, 1980) is a Dutch photographer, artist and curator. At Tique | art space, Johan Nieuwenhuize will present work from his ongoing series IMG_, a growing collection of abstract and semi-abstract photographic observations of “the city”: structures, buildings, cars and reﬂections. The work represents an active visual archive consisting of images made during Nieuwenhuizeʼs travels to different cities in Europe and the USA.
The way the combinations of images are made, is based on the Kuleshov experiment from 1918. In this experiment, a ﬁlmed portrait of a man is combined in three edits: in combination with a shot of a woman on a sofa, a shot of a dead baby and another of a bowl of soup. The expression of the man remains the same, but the viewer interprets it in different ways, depending on the context.
Anonymous grids, ambient mist, and illegible, monotone grains. Though we know the textures well, the subject of these images can be difficult to name. The tight cropping often omits any identifiable marks. Yet it gives the photographs an immediacy, a quality that draws less on sight than on the faculties of taste, scent and touch to generate significance. They call up associations with the urgency and strangeness evoked by only the more primal forms of sense memory. But where and when exactly we have encountered these surfaces, these fields of color, it is impossible to say.
Through these generic yet familiar textures Johan Nieuwenhuize evokes what we might call the tactile experience of globalization. He shows the common fabric and modes of travel that have united New York, Berlin and Shanghai into a single megalopolis. The objects and scenes represented by his near total abstractions have no place of origin, no characteristic nationality. They are everywhere and nowhere at once. Receding as the backdrop of contemporary experience, they are made invisible precisely by their ubiquity.
What the images suggest, however, is that the ever presence of their textures has not deprived them of an aura. Rather, through our repeated encounters, these surfaces become deeply layered with recollection and meaning. Yet this repetition, this habituation, is precisely what blinds us to their importance. Nieuwenhuize thus calls the other senses to our aid. The intimacy of his work reveals what have become the modern storehouses of emotional experience and memory. For Proust, the taste of tea and a petit madeleine revived the Belle Époque. For us, perhaps, it may be the feel of imitation shot silk, the matte finish of a synthetic countertop, that recalls the turning of the 21st century.
Lorne Darnell Amsterdam, march 2013