With the exhibition Archive Land the Dutch artist Erik Kessels opens the hitherto unpublicized template collection of the MAKK. A kind of encyclopaedic image archive, it once served as a guide to artistic designs for the Fine and Applied Arts. Kessels will use the (photo)graphic plates, which recall oversized playing cards, to build ruins for a walk-through room installation and create a temporary “dig site”. A sound installation by the British artist Robin Rimbaud alias ‘Scanner’ translates the archive into sound.
The installation resembles an archetypal dilapidated historical building. Just like an archive, these structures are often hidden away and difficult to access – relics from bygone times. Walking through these motifs ranging from the Middle Ages to the 19th century and letting the mind wander encourages visitors to perceive these usually hidden visual worlds in a new way.
The pattern collection of the Cologne Museum of Applied Arts is part of the museum’s comprehensive Graphics Collection that was built up with the founding of the museum in 1888. The pattern collection comprises approx. 25,000 illustrations from the Middle Ages to the 19th century and served as a visual guide to ‘good taste’: photographs, prints or clippings from publications showing primarily handcrafted objects of all types, but also historical buildings, cityscapes, landscapes, interiors, expeditions, botanical motifs or animals.
Erik Kessels (born 1966 in Roermond, Netherlands) lives and works in Amsterdam. He is creative director and head of the KesselsKramer advertising agency in Amsterdam, which he founded together with Johan Kramer in 1995 as a “legendary and unorthodox” communications agency. Since 2000, he has also published the Useful Photography magazine and has edited several books, for example Missing Links (1999), The Instant Men (2000), In almost every picture (2001-2013) and Wonder (2006). www.kesselskramer.com
Artist Meets Archive is the central exhibition program of this year's Photoszene-Festival in cooperation with Museum Ludwig, MAKK - Museum for Applied Arts Cologne, Kölnisches Stadtmuseum, Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum and Rheinisches Bildarchiv at Kaune Contemporary.
The exhibition will be accompanied by playing cards and a music cassette in a collector's box (200 copies, signed by Erik Kessels and Scanner), available at the museum box office for 30€.
The exhibition is sponsored by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Mondrian Fund.