Wouter Venema at P/////AKT

Artist: Wouter Venema

Exhibition title: Façade

Venue: P/////AKT, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date: January 14 – February 11, 2018

Photography: Charlott Markus / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and P/////AKT, Amsterdam

With a background in film, Wouter Venema is interested in the meaning of recording and capturing people, objects, moments and time. His practice is neither an attempt to show a sequence of autonomous images, nor to produce a linear narrative. Also, he does not aim to depict a one-dimensional, individual perception regarding time and place in order to unequivocally depict it afterwards. Rather, Venema means to simultaneously bring together different perspectives and by doing so, he creates a sense which transcends the singularity. Before, he for instance sought for ways to record an object from different perspectives in one single moment, aiming to transcend both time and place. Hereby, the artist (literally) attempts to take in several viewpoints at the same time and thus resist a single-sided closed-narrative monolithic view.

Skin is an important starting point for his current exhibition at P/////AKT. Venema considers skin, clothing or membrane to be an intermediary between two worlds or perspectives. They carry or indicate identity; both protection and decoration: a convertible outer layer able to change shape, role, thus meaning. Furthermore, Venema relates skin to architectural façades, operating as a border between inside and outside – besides referring to iguanas and snakes whom shed their skin regularly, and therefore are able to show different versions of themselves throughout their lifetime. The artist relates this capacity to the possibility of changing role and identity. However, scars form the indelible traces of history: something indicating both absence and presence concurrently.

Inside the space, Venema (in collaboration with Studio Anne Dessing) came up with a division; thereby creating an inner and outer part, a front and a back allowing the displayed works to be viewed from two (equal) sides. This strict partitioning in one way refers to the way straight lines are used on maps to create borders and make separations. On the other hand it shows how an artificial division causes conceptual, psychological and physically directly sensible consequences. Divisions also play a part in the systems that create identity-related narratives. This concerns stories chosen and elaborated upon, but also descriptions that cause a specific distinction; creating a form of inclusion and exclusion. As a counterbalance, Venema uses the image of the cuckoo, which, besides the notion of taking possession of a home, also represents unlimited migration and exchange – birds simply do not care for manmade borders or identity politics and swarm across the globe without any restraint. In Façade, Wouter Venema connects all these elements – and more – reflecting on manmade borders, structures, perception and projection.

Text by Vincent van Velsen

Thanks to: Mondriaan Fonds, Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, Ammodo, Stichting Stokroos and Elise Mathilde Fonds. Special thanks to: K immy Spreeuwenberg, Anne Dessing, Bart van Pinxteren, Vincent van Velsen, Henk van Kooij, Anton Kalkman and Johanna Monk.

Extended Matter
Much like the previous years, Extended Matter is a series of connected solo exhibitions with additional output in the form of texts and events. It loosely deals with renegotiating or reconciling the boundaries between different domains and the possibilities of creating an alternative, morphed or in between reality, conceived by (slow) production processes, transformation, tactility and materiality.

Extended Matter features solo exhibitions by Wouter Venema, Rein Dufait, Janina Frye, Johann Arens, Laura Kaminskaitė & Antanas Gerlikas and Sarah Pichlkostner.

Wouter Venema, Façade, 2018, exhibition view, P/////AKT, Amsterdam

Wouter Venema, Façade, 2018, exhibition view, P/////AKT, Amsterdam

Wouter Venema, Façade, 2018, exhibition view, P/////AKT, Amsterdam

Wouter Venema, Façade, 2018, exhibition view, P/////AKT, Amsterdam

Wouter Venema, Poacher’s Atlas III, 2018

Wouter Venema, Scales, 2018

Wouter Venema, Scales, detail, 2018

Wouter Venema, The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Stick Chart), in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

Wouter Venema, The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Astrolabe), in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

Wouter Venema, The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Astrolabe), detail, in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

Wouter Venema, Double Landscape, 2018

Wouter Venema, from left to right: The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Kamal), in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018; De Dubbelde Palmboom, 2018; The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Polaris), in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

Wouter Venema, Window Alert (Cuckoo), 2018

Wouter Venema,The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Astrolabe), in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

Wouter Venema,The Place Between My Pencil and the Paper (Astrolabe), detail, in collaboration with Kimmy Spreeuwenberg, 2018

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