ABOUT THE EXHIBITION

PETER FUNCH & ARTHUR KLEINJAN

Amsterdam

*Peter Funch (1974, Copenhagen, Denmark)* has established himself as one of Denmark’s most interesting contemporary art photographers. Ever since he graduated from the Danish School of Journalism in 2000 his works have been hailed by both audience and various prize committees. The photographic Series Babel Tales consolidates his almost anthropological ability to create patterns in the world’s haphazardness and at the same time it emphasizes his desire to challenge the beholder’s understanding of “reality” and “fiction”.

Every picture was taken during a span of 10-14 days from twelve different street corners in New York. At first glance the pictures resemble random snapshots of the often-photographed streets of New York. But on closer examination the pictures expand and blossom into colourful anecdotes about contingent details that suddenly become the glue which keeps the street scene together.
For the Dream Amsterdam project Funch has created Amsterdam Stories a series of photographs, taken over a period of 6 weeks in 15 specific locations in the Dutch capital. The works illustrate the diversity of Dutch society: for Funch an art project ‘about the people and for the people’.
Peter Funch will create in conjunction to this exposition a site-specific art project for Dream Amsterdam located at Amsterdam’s prestigious Museumplein from June 5 until August 31, 2009. Next to this Funch will give a lecture detailing the themes of his work on Saturday the 6th of June in Galerie Ron Mandos. Tickets cost €15 and are available at www.dreamamsterdam.nl. A detailed map of his site-specific work will also be available here from June 5.

_Peter Funch lives and works in New York. He has been awarded an array of international art prizes and his work has been shown at museums, galleries, festivals and art fairs the world over: the Photography Festival Arles, Zoo Art Fair London and the VOLTA show in Basel en New York to name but a few. ‘Amsterdam Stories’ is his first grand-scale work in the public space and a new step in his artistic career._

For the exposition Insight Out *Arthur Kleinjan (1970, Rotterdam)* will bring together 3 video pieces: Atocha (2007), Moments of Considered Time (2008) and his latest work Sightseeing (2009). Kleinjan’s work explores the human experience in relation to the metaphysical experience of time, place and identity. By playing with these concepts he integrates the viewer into his work as he transforms seemingly ordinary moments into something unique and enigmatic.

The setting of his work is usually an urban environment which seems to provoke certain behavior in the people occupying it. Although his work is rooted in candid situations it seems to border or question the thin line between fiction and reality. His keen interest for the notion of observation may lead the viewer to take another close look to his own surroundings and see beyond the first glance.

In Kleinjan’s latest video ‘Sightseeing’ he focuses on the way tourists interact and consume a city. Tourist guides act as gatekeepers interpreting the city and its history by translating their complexity into one-liners and short photo opportunities. With this video Kleinjan again adopts a reversed point of view in which tourists become the object of observation, as if it is the city that watches them, not the other way round.

The film version of ‘Moments of Considered Time’ revolves around a series of photographs depicting courting couples. The work interweaves images of contemporary Cairo with personal observations creating a complex work which casts the city and its inhabitants in an anthropological and romantic light of dreamlike ambiguity.

The video ‘Atocha’ takes place at the memorial sight of the Atocha train station in Madrid. In this work Kleinjan focuses on gestures, facial expressions and movement of people while being captured by something above them. Although the focus of their attention remains out of sight it seems to provoke a strong sense of wonder and enchantment.

_Arthur Kleinjan has presented his work for a number of years now at high-profile international art institutes. Highlights have been expositions at Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (SP), The Museum of Modern Art, Busan (KO) en het Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montréal (CA)._

ABOUT Arthur Kleinjan

Arthur Kleinjan studied at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and later also at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam from 2001 until 2002.

He is particularly drawn to the media of photography and video. His work attempts to explore human experience in relation to the metaphysical experience of time, place and identity. Kleinjan integrates the viewer by playing with these concepts. He does this for example by transforming seemingly ordinary and simple moments into something unique. In his photo series ‘Paris Looks’ he photographs the uncomfortable poses and gestures that accompany the ‘holiday photo’. Whilst each individual tourist takes position for his or her travel companion, Kleinjan as a second photographer captures the scene from an elevated viewpoint. Despite this distanced perspective, these images have a certain intimacy and fragility, via which the viewer identifies him or herself with the piece. Kleinjan is able to register these scenes at such an exact point as to bring out the spectacle in them, as if the tourists are actors on a stage. He demonstrates how they allow themselves to be immortalised in an attempt to resist the passing of time, attempting to obtain something meaningful at a later point in the form of memory.

Video works by the artist also show his keen interest for the themes of time and place. His work ‘Traverse’ has a cinematographic, narrative nature. It is a complex story that traverses narrated childhood memories, recent experience and dream. It is not clear whether the central figure of the piece is dreaming what he had experienced or that he is experiencing that what he had dreamed. His work is located in the space where reality, memory and dream meet.

‘Moments of Considered Time’ was shown at ‘ROAM’, the first time this most recent work had been seen in the Netherlands. It interweaves images of modern Cairo with the history of film, photography and Egypt itself. This together with personal observations and memories creates a complex work of undeniable interest.

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