Global Platforms

Unseen Amsterdam is devoted to identifying, and fostering the talents of emerging and established innovators. Unique by design, the international photography exhibition has founded various talent development initiatives, providing up-and-coming artists with a global platform that celebrates diversity. The sixth edition hosts 87 artists who will be presenting Unseen Premieres – new work that has never been shown at any fair, gallery or institution.

The show includes the forthcoming talents of Thomas Kuijpers (b. 1985), Sofía Ayarzagoitia (b. 1987) and Marton Perlaki (b. 1983). One such example is Tanya Habjouqa (b.1975) represented by ILEX Gallery, who has a multifocal approach that links social documentary and collaborative portraiture. As the founding member of Rawiya, the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East, Habjouga’s work extends from the realm of art into activism. Through suggesting alternatives to separatist ideologies, her work acknowledges and traces commonality in civilisation. The series Occupied Pleasures (2013) testifies to the strength of the human spirit. Daily life in the Occupied West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza defies normality. Offering insight into how the mainstream media depicts her subjects, Habjouga illuminates the irony of reductive racial interpretations. These depictions of simple pleasures and past-times highlight communities’ abilities to survive disempowered and besieged conditions.

Additionally exclusive pieces will be presented by long-standing artists to include, Mohau Modisakeng (b. 1986), Kadir van Lohuizen (b. 1963) and Jacqueline Hassink (b. 1933). Female Power Stations (1988) by Hassink maps the relationship between women and economic power. By observing the position of females in 500 of the world’s largest corporations in 1997, the photos provoke reflection on the prevalent gender roles in late 20th century America. Similarly, Gregory Halpern’s (b. 1977) work, “is grounded in reality, but occupies the space between documentary and a certain sense of mystery.” Halpern’s work resists categorisation, transgressing the boundaries of genre and form. His project ZZYZYX (2016) was sustained by a grant from the Guggenheim. Named after a town on the edge of the Mojave Desert in Saint Bernardino county, it explores the somewhat grim reality of the American landscape. This interpretation of place subverts the country’s fundamental ideals of prosperity and solidarity, and grapples with the descent of the “American Dream”.

The diversity of cultural identities and professional practice at Unseen Amsterdam illuminates the prominent artistic advances of a generation. The exhibition is available from the 22-24 September. For further information visit: 

1. Aruna Canevascini, from the series Villa Argentina, 2016.