Anouk Kruithof is a Dutch artist whose exhibitions and books merge the social, conceptual, and photographic; performance and video. As evident in her recent solo show, at Amsterdam’s Boetzelaer|Nispen Gallery.
Kruithof made a variety of works such as sculptures and photographed analogue screenshot-montages re-interpreting the imagery in a search for new value and new meaning. The works acknowledge that the strategically staged, sometimes Photoshopped and cropped imagery filling the Instagram accounts, which she has researched, lack integrity to be viewed as pure evidence. To her the bigger issue remains, of what the strategies of the various corporate/bureaucratic entities, doing the posting, are, and how much effect the images and accompanying text they post have on people's thoughts and actions in order to achieve their goals. Yet her main reason for studying these images is not to question the entities’ goals and interests, but to express the inspiration that the images and the information contained in this new digital medium have given her. Together they communicate progress and the ambition of human endeavour in a very convincing manner.
According to Kruithof, now that everyone is to a certain degree a ‘pirate’, questions about the act of appropriation itself are no longer that relevant. However, all the works in Evidence revolve around the question of how a re-contextualisation of an image can add meaning. To explore a range of different possible meanings, Kruithof used different criteria when selecting the source screenshots that would comprise the starting point for a given work.
Neutrals is a set of seven sculptures, of metal and prints on different kinds of PVC sheets. The images on the prints are taken from screenshots of the TSA’s Instagram feed showing neatly displayed groups of confiscated items, mainly weapons. For documentation, the identity cards of the contraband owners were part of the display, but for privacy reasons they were always blurred up to a point where even the gender or race of the person were no longer discernible. Kruithof took out just those blurred ID cards and printed them on the different plastics.
The metal constructions which the prints are laying, or stretched on, form the sculptural bodies of a new physical existence, parallel to the original digital existence as images on an Instagram account. The metal shapes appear to have a de-humanised emotionality equal to the imagery added to them.