Annegien Van Doorn is a visual artist, but as she says, at parties she prefers to tell people she’s a photographer. For convenience. Actually she is one of the best visual artists around. And luckily enough for her, we are not the only one saying that.
Born in Vlissingen, Netherlands, she first attended the St. Joost Art Academy in Breda where she graduated in photography. She then flew directly to Barcelona to accomplish her school career, however changing her field of study in visual art. For Annegien, photography was a bit tight, something too restricted.
In Barcelona Annegien starts taking photos and cataloging all those situations of ordinary chaos that normally create in our apartments. And this will become his main interest. Not the apartments, but the ordinary, the daily life. And especially those situations where objects assume a different function other than the original one.
Thus Annegien becomes a sort of hunter of these situations and at a certain point her eye become so trained to recognize the intrinsic power of objects. This is when she decides to start intervening in some of the situations she encounters, thus creating an aura of mystery around her pictures, because we do not know in which situations the artist has intervened by changing the scenario and what situations are “real”.
“Sometimes the world around us is already surprising in itself and I find situation that just await to be photographed. Sometimes, however, I start to imagine in my head how a situation can be turned into something totally different, and there I can’t stop myself from intervening.”
In Passing series
This collection of “weird” situations becomes Annegien’s production base for his personal projects as well as commissioned works. She definitely has a recognizable style and this can be especially seen in In Passing, and Domestic Science, which are part of Fabulous Failures, a collective exhibition curated by Erik Kessels for Le Rencontres de la Photograhie of Arles 2016 and currently exhibited in Brussels at Le Botanique until August the 20th.
In Passing series
In Passing and Domestic Science show us Annegien’s incredible ability to observe the daily life and turn it into something more. And this is maybe her special way of living everyday life. The objects we are used to have around, through his work take on a second meaning and in some cases acquire a humorous value, succeeding in becoming more visible. It is not just a matter of humor, as Annegien admits, but nevertheless humor is part of his work because “we need more humor to highlight those situations that are often trivial or boring”. This is because more and more often, what we are used to see has become invisible.
Another work we enjoy very much is Costa Mediterranea, a project about the daily life on board of a cruise ship.
To accomplish this project Annegien has embarked on the Costa Mediterranea cruise ship, entering a parallel world. A world of extremely kitsch furniture inspired by Italian historical palaces, where she was constantly observed by crew members (given the small number of passengers) and where the only privacy she could have was inside her 12m2-cabin. Her windowless 12m2-cabin. Here Annegien, playing with the decor of the room, the blankets, the remote control, recreated scenes of everyday but surreal life. And are just these scenes, combined with images of life on the cruise that make us questioning reality. As if it were a dream. A surreal, but still real, dream.
At first glance Annegien’s work may look as something taken for granted, and maybe just because because her focus is on everyday life and such common situations to be trivial. But then why are we fascinated by the situations she presents us? Perhaps it is because of her ability to show them in all their strangeness and simplicity, isolating them just for us. Definitely Annegien has a special eye to show us these surreal situations. Not everyone can transform the ordinary into something attractive and able to stand out on itself. And it is thanks to this ability that she is able, through her work, to teach us to appreciate more what surrounds us.
Annegien, as we said at the beginning, is an all-round artist. This is also why we decide to talked about two of his works that have also become exhibitions. And precisely because the same exhibitions follow Annegien’s creative. The images taken in fact are reproduced through a mix of photos, videos and installations that follow the features of the situations presented. It’s like if the real situation she saw is presented before our eyes.
That’s why you will never get bored at her shows. And in the meantime, here you are some installation view images.
In Passing exhibition at C&H Art Space (Amsterdam),Concordia (Enschede) and Palais
Domestic Science exhibition at Foam 3H
Costa Mediterranea exhibition at Punt WG & Melkweg
As usual we conclude with the recommendations of our guest. And Annegien offers us her favorite magazine. Voilà!
Anyway, we suggest you to visit her website and keep her under your radar. We’ll definitely hear talking about her on and on!
Thanks so much Annegien!