We are delighted to have curator Trine Stephensen taking over the Open Doors Gallery instagram account (@odtakeovers). An independent curator based in Oslo and Amsterdam, Trine is interested in exploring new ways of presenting photography.
For the duration of her takeover Trine will be presenting you with a broad range of the artists that she has been working with over the years with a focus on sculptural photographic work. We have highlighted a selection of the extraordinary artists she will be sharing below.
TS: I have included the work of Inka & Niclas in various publications over the years. Always a pleasure to work with them. Here is an excerpt from the ‘Sculptural Landscapes’ exhibition at Galleri Format published this year: “They all recognise the potential of photography as a purveyor of experimental and conceptual work. Accordingly, the camera often only accounts for a fraction of the tools used in the creation of the artworks exhibited, which spill out of the photographic frame and into other material forms such as installation and mixed media.” text by Georgie Sinclair
TS: Sayako Sugawara explores notions of memory and imagination through a poetic approach to stillness and movement. It creates a certain curiosity in me how she has constructed the images, but I don’t really need to know the technical aspects as I just want to leave it to the imagination and continue to look at her images, they are magical.
TS: With interest in Ruth van Beek’s work since I started my curatorial practice, I do believe that her work has shaped the focus of my research of sculptural photography. With Ruth van Beek’s work, her collages, sculptural in both their construction and presentation we see various shapes of painted paper on images, mainly from old photo books. She triggers the imagination, and abstract shapes come to life. I will never get bored of her work!
“For the publication Sculptural Surface, seven artists have created work that treats surface as sculpture. The work can be explored in-camera, or manipulated outside of it. They present surface as something to question. They shake things up. Their works swirl, morph, twist, and coil. They become tactile. They invite the viewer to engage not only visually but they also elicit a desire to touch. They invite us to explore these works with more than our eyes, to inhabit the worlds that have been presented to us. They ask us to explore.” Text from Sculptural Surface by David Rosenberg
TS: While being exposed daily to numerous pictures through many different channels, it is such a pleasure to just pause and look at the work of Hannah Hughes. It is almost meditative, her images create a certain stillness where the shapes become the focus. We interviewed Hannah for the online series A Corner of Home where she explained the creation of the images: Using the camera and shadows thrown from natural light, paper fragments become maquettes for larger sculptures or installations — using a domestic context to think about monumental structures.
TS: Giovanna Petrocchi and I finally met during @meet_for_photo. We decided there and then to make a publication together. Her new project Sculptural Entities aims to investigate the relationship between organic and artificial forms but at the same time between the ancient and the contemporary realms. It also comes as a result of her interest in examining how knowledge and cultural heritage are produced, organised and consequently authenticated. As a personal desire to access and reconnect to the past whilst giving the possibility to the viewer to explore historical narratives in an alternative way. In this case, by inspiring critical thinking via visual stimuli rather than through systematic dissemination of scientific data.
TS: Francesca Tamse collages feel three-dimensional, both constructed and deconstructed. They also present a juxtaposition between fact and fiction, between human form that is both imagined and fully realized. I have been fortunate enough to work with Francesca both towards publications and exhibitions over the years. She was first part of the Sculptural Surface 2017 publication, and then in the Scratch the Surface exhibition I curated at @aldamafabregallery in Bilbao in 2017. We also worked together for the show A Corner With Francesca Tamse that I curated in my studio in London 2017 (@acornerwith).
A Corner With is a series of exhibitions taking place in my studio in Dalston in London. Each artist was invited a month before the launch evening to use the space as their studio and to create new work.
TS:I am sure I am not the only one that is discovering new work on Instagram. Niko Krijno is one of the artists I discovered scrolling through the app, and that I am very grateful for. His impressive collages intertwine the medium of photography, sculpture, and performance, reflecting Krijno’s existential relation to time and space.
NK: “I’ve been making some collage work – actually quite a lot of them – that I’m having a lot of fun. I’m using this time of crisis to focus and reorient myself (some spiritual groundwork), something I haven’t had time for in years.” – Niko Krijno talking to @acornerwith
Nico Krijno (b1981) is a Cape Town based, South African artist working with staged photography, collage and bookmaking, in a practice that investigates contemporary visual codes, symbols and patterns and the history of the image.
TS: In 2017 Sybren Vanoverberghe took part in the Collective series. Collective is ongoing research focusing on the artistic process of one emerging artist per online feature; we learn about their sculptural practice and how it relates to construction, deconstruction, or both.
“It interests me how you can depart from a photograph and in a further stage really come to a physical object. I’m working on a sculpture which is inspired by one of the images I made last year. In the end the confrontation between the sketches of the sculpture, the sculpture itself and the photograph form a nice combination on what a photograph can lead to in ways of physicality. It’s a process which starts from the moment my photographs are developed, for each image this can lead to various final results.” Text from the Collective interview with Sybren Vanoverberghe
TS: It has been such a nice process to dig into the archive to collect material for this takeover, a trip down memory lane. In 2018 I worked with Erola Arcalís for the exhibition A Corner With Erola Arcalís, and for the publication ‘Lethe’.
The images of this project were made in Greece, where one of the entrances to the Underworld is believed to be and the location of some of the passages of Homer’s Odyssey. In Greek Mythology the cavern is a place of origin and disappearance, of revelation and forgetfulness; the liminal space between life and death.
For the exhibition we entered into a cave with only a few references to Greek mythology as a guide. The words “Lethe” and “Aletheia” in Greek translate as “to forget, to conceal” and “to remember, to reveal”, respectively; but it also refers to truth and its negation, untruth. Abstract images coexist with figurative ones, playing with scale and subject. A fragmented still life, an orphaned trace, a single stalagmite; constitute different voices of memories.
Follow the full takeover here as it unfolds
21-28 Jan, 2021
Trine Stephensen is an independent curator based in Oslo and Amsterdam, interested in exploring new ways of presenting photography. She graduated from Goldsmiths in 2016 with a master’s degree in Contemporary Art Theory. In 2012, she founded A Corner With, a publishing and exhibition project with a focus on sculptural photography. Stephensen is known for her collaborative method of practice, as well as her sensitive approach to working with print and visual media.
In 2018, Stephensen received the Special Jury Anamorphosis Prize for her self-published book MDAM, which is now part of the MoMA Library Collection in New York. She was previously commissioning editor of Unseen Amsterdam’s Unseen Platform and has worked with META/BOOKS, Iris Sikking, Self Publish Be Happy, and Paper Journal.
A Corner With is a curatorial space for sculptural photography, founded by Trine Stephensen in 2012. It has a focus on collaborative approaches to publishing and exhibition making, and aims to create a dialogue between the artist and audience, centering the artistic process. Over the years A Corner With has supported emerging photographers from around the world, and partnered with numerous creative practitioners along the way: Peckham 24, Fotogalleriet, OFFPRINT, Copenhagen Photo Festival and NÕUA.
Until 2020, A Corner With was based in Dalston, London, and functioned as an experimental exhibition and event space. It seeks follow the ever changing landscape of visual culture by experimenting with new ways of presenting sculptural photography in print, digital, and physical space.