The Beautifully Deceptive Work of Dutch Artist Anouk Kruithof
#EVIDENCE, a solo show by the Dutch artist Anouk Kruithof that ran last fall at Amsterdam’s Boetzelaer|Nispen Gallery, is our favorite kind of exhibition — one whose work at first appears to be merely pretty but upon closer look is revealed to be intriguingly conceptual. At the heart of Kruithof’s exhibition were several sculptures made from PVC, vinyl, or latex sheets, printed with ethereal color fields and draped over a metal framework. But it turns out those color smears weren’t random but rather blurred-out screenshots from the TSA’s Instagram feed, showing neatly displayed groups of confiscated items and ID cards belonging to the contraband owners.
The sculptures are part of a larger body of work that explores how the meaning of a photograph may be changed by the context in which it’s seen, and which uses as its source imagery the Instagram accounts of various American corporations, institutions, and governmental agencies. “An extensive research into the complete Instagram output of 27 corporations, 15 government agencies and 11 institutions led to a selection of around 650 screenshots that form the source of the new body of work,” the exhibition materials read. “In each of the various types of work that Kruithof derived from this source material, she twists, alters, stretches and combines the material in different ways. By doing so, Kruithof claims the imagery as her own and robs it of its promotional intent, instead adding new, varying intentions and messages.”