Unseen Photo Fair anniversary edition: Photography in Wonderland

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Friday, September 22, 2023

Unseen Photo Fair anniversary edition: Photography in Wonderland
Installation view.

AMSTERDAM.- Unseen Photo Fair, the international photography fair dedicated to the avant garde of contemporary photography, is celebrating its tenth edition this year 16th - 18th September at the iconic Westergas culturepark in Amsterdam. The fair is considered a leading voice on the latest artistic developments in photography, and is known for its intimate atmosphere and high curatorial standard. With the upcoming anniversary edition, the fair cements this reputation, and ventures onto a more established path, with several artists with solo presentations at the fair having museum exhibitions in Amsterdam during the fair.

Roderick van der Lee, founding director of Unseen: "The international enthusiasm for Unseen is greater than ever. Despite the expectations over the past few years that art fairs might become a more regional affair, we're welcoming galleries from all over the world, from New York to New Dehli. The immensely popular Unseen Book Market will host independent publishers from Oslo to Tokyo, and we're incredibly pleased to announce a new photography book publishing award in collaboration with GOST Books from London. For Unbound, our most ambitious and forward-looking section, we're very proud to gain the perspective of our guest curator, Damarice Amoa of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This year, all these global visions, with threads of landscapes, portraits and still lifes, seem to weave a tapestry showing a beautiful yet estranging world of fairy tales."

Unseen Photo Fair

The main section of this anniversary edition of Unseen will showcase 70 galleries from all over the globe. Amongst its participants many seasoned Dutch veterans such as Galerie Ron Mandos with the newest series by acclaimed photographer Erwin Olaf in collaboration with legendary ballet choreographer Hans van Manen, and FLATLAND gallery showing the work of Valerie Belin. Galerie tegenboschvanvreden will bring a solo presentation by Paul Kooiker with a selection of work from his upcoming retrospective book on decades of his celebrated high fashion photography. Amongst returning international galleries Robert Morat from Berlin premiering newly discovered talent, and Nature Morte, India's foremost contemporary art gallery, also returning with a solo presentation of Bharat Sikka.

New participants include New York / San Fransisco based gallery bitforms, specializing in new media and digital art; Loft Gallery from Casablanca with a solo presentation of Mous Lamrabat, who also has a large solo exhibition at Foam (photography museum Amsterdam); and Barbara Seiler from Zurich, with a solo presentation of Marcel van Eeden, whose exhibition at the van Gogh Museum will open during the fair.

Book Market

This year 67 international independent publishers of art and photography books will participate. After restrictions during the last edition, this year there will be much room for special events and artist signing sessions again. Hannibal Books will launch a new publication by photographer and film director Anton Corbijn, who will be present signing the book at the fair. This year also marks the launch of a new photography book award in collaboration with GOST Books from London. Stuart Smith, publisher of GOST: We're really excited to view the projects submitted for this new award. We pride ourselves on a publishing output which defies categorization and by collaborating with Unseen Amsterdam—with their reputation for showcasing the most innovative contemporary photography—we hope to be able to support a photographer or artist with the production of a book to share their work with a wide international audience."


Last year Unseen launched the independent and ambitious new section Unbound, dedicated to exploring the outer limits of the photographic universe. Unbound received much critical acclaim and was heralded as truly innovative by insiders. This year sees Damarice Amao, photography curator of the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as guest curator. From a very large amount of proposals from artists, art academies, galleries, institutions and museums, Amao selected a dozen projects where photography crosses over into digital art, installations, performance art, sculpture, virtual reality and video art. Damarice Amao: "I like to work and think in different perspectives. I am mostly known for my curatorial projects about avant-garde and modernist photography. But for me, the questions raised in the past are still echoing in the now. The connection with young generations is really important to me.

I look forward to making an exciting exhibition with museum standards, but the energy that an event brings with it."

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