What do you do when you have just graduated from art school and you have to set up your own studio, but you cannot afford any expensive equipment? What if you always work together, always share everything, but do not have a system? Photographers' duo Otto Kaan turned this practical problem into an aesthetic solution. In Foam
3h the duo presents four new projects in the exhibition Works. Otto Kaan consists of Berend Otto (1985) and Guus Kaandorp (1986).
Works is the result of several studies the duo produced in their studio. The workshop provoked Otto Kaan's curiosity, it became a space for new discoveries and experiments. Starting point was the wide range of equipment with which they use as photographers. They dreamed up new purposes and functions for the material, which led to surprising combinations and results. The series is a study into form, which at first sight seems serious, but turns out to be made with a lot of humour.
In the series Photographic furniture we see their own designs and made-to-size pieces of furniture made for and consisting of photographic equipment. Otto Kaan had the designs produced to professional standards and recorded them afterwards; the photographic image is the only proof of their functionality. In the double slide projection Scaffoldings the duo show the results of their architectural experiments, which they constructed in their studio to monumental size and measuring up to six meters high. After recording it, they recycled the material into a new and complex construction. Flower make-up is a series about counterweights for tripods, in this case bags of garden pebbles. Using a simple trick, the function changed from purely practical to a new and aesthetic one. Reflection screen tests the viewers' way of seeing and conjures up a sense of alienation, just like the other series.
The work by Otto Kaan is a manifesto for an alternative way of seeing. It lets us look at the medium of photography in a new and different way. First and foremost however it raises questions about ourselves. Without taking itself too seriously and by putting things into perspective.
Guus Kaandorp graduated at Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten in Den Haag and Berend Otto graduated at Rietveld in 2013.
The book Steigers accompanies the exhibitions which is published by Centerfold Editions and designed by Xavier Fernández Fuentes.
The exhibition Works by Otto Kaan can be seen 19 July - 10 September 2013 in Foam.