The Unseen Photo Fair and Festival in Amsterdam is a ten-day celebration of new, fresh and experimental international photography. Now in its fifth year, Unseen combines a cutting-edge marketplace (the Fair) for collectors to discover the work of emerging photographers as well as new work from established artists. And for the general public and collectors alike, a citywide Festival features exhibitions and experiences that explore photography from many different angles and points of view.
The Festival is open 16-25 September, while the Fair, which features 53 international galleries and special exhibitions, is open 23-25 September.
Below you’ll find our picks from this year’s program. These are only some of the highlights that will be on view throughout the city, however, so be sure to check out the full roster of events on their website.
Unseen presents the exhibition “TOUCHED – Craftsmanship in Contemporary Photography,” curated by internationally renowned Dutch photographer and film director Anton Corbijn. The exhibition will include work from twelve international photographers. TOUCHED aims to provide an exclusive look into the way contemporary artists employ artisanal photographic processes or use photographic prints to create unique objects.
“TOUCHED – Craftsmanship in Contemporary Photography” will be on display in Museum Het Schip in the Spaarndammerbuurt.
Artists Christto & Andrew will present a special exhibition called “The Politics of Sport” at The Brediusbad, Amsterdam’s outdoor pool. Local communities, cities and nations are united by sports; the activity touches the lives of millions around the globe. However, as with any colossal business, the rules are often tampered with or broken. When we watch sports, is what we see what we get, or is there a background story that is intentionally hidden from the viewer to create a false impression? Christto & Andrew have researched this phenomenon in Qatar, their country of residence. Qatar is known to host major sports events, but the sports “tradition” is less ingrained there than it is in the Western world. The artists aim to explore the role of politics within the sports world.
Josilda da Conceição Gallery in the Spaarndammerbuurt, in collaboration with Panasonic/LUMIX, presents an exhibition of young Japanese photographers. These innovative artists mix analogue and digital technology to create a refreshingly new photographic narrative of their own.
Delve into the world of augmented reality with Bruno Ceschel and his onsite project Making Memeries. Ceschel is collaborating with artist Lucas Blalock on a unique installation consisting of eight movable panel structures. Through the free “Making Memeries” mobile phone app, you will be able to activate sounds, videos, and graphics, an interaction that “augments” your physical reality with digital sensory inputs. Making Memeries explores the blurring boundaries surrounding on and offline existence and performance in our meme-driven world.
Studio portraiture is a long-standing tradition within the history of photography on the African continent. Ever since it was introduced, artists have found innovative ways to create pop-up studios in their homes to document their local people. Now artists throughout the continent are exploring new approaches to portraiture. During “Face to Face,” leading artists from African countries are invited to create diverse pop-up studios to document visitors of Unseen. The photographs will be printed onsite for participants to take home.
After last year’s success, Unseen has decided to repeat Gallery Night. On Saturday, September 24th, some of Amsterdam’s most exciting galleries will open their doors for an exclusive late-night event. Selected galleries are open from 20h00 to 22h00. Entry is free, see a full list of participating galleries.