Aftermath (Post flea-market depression)

Foam Talent exhibition at Foam Amsterdam, 2017 © Christian van der Kooy / Foam

Find shelter! (The Rain Started)

Crowd (I was right there mate)

Please don’t shout on the plane (especially not with a bag that clearly exceeds hand-luggage size regulations)

Sermon (YT)

Fences (Vague)

more info

Kuijpers amassed an archive of front pages, sensationalist headlines, and popular images that kindle a collective fear of terrorism. He encroached into the fringes of the web, tracking the posts of a number of right-wing/anti-Islamic communities to study the kind of information their members consume. In an attempt to retrace what exactly inspires his own angst, he filmed and photographed situations in his daily life that triggered associations with terrorism. A truck loaded with gas tanks: surely the perfect weapon to drive into a crowd? A blurry positive of an ambulance passing at speed: a car bomb explosion. We see a woman participating in an online forum, and a veiled woman on a bus watching what seems to be an online sermon. Both inhabit virtual realities that unconsciously and involuntarily inspired suspicion with the artist. With his therapeutic practice of collecting and deconstructing the visual make-up of a shared paranoia, Kuijpers questions how our perception of reality is led largely by sensationalism, fake news and irrational fears.

 

Thomas Kuijpers fell into a dark hole after Trump got elected. Where his practice before was always about understanding the structures behind the image, opening up these structures to the public, Trump destroyed these structures overnight by introducing the term ‘fake-news’- instantly making everyone a media-skeptic. Confused about his role as an artist, and willing to understand why people would give their vote to someone like Trump (or his Dutch equivalent), he encroached into the fringes of the web, tracking the posts of a number of populist communities to study the kind of information their members consume. No work was made in 4 months, and while Kuijpers only consumed this information, something weird started to happen to his daily reality. When being at a crowded party, for instance, these bataclan-flashbacks started to appear, leaving Kuijpers wondering where to run when someone with bad intentions would come in. These triggering moments, to Kuijpers clearly influenced by the amount of information he consumed, became increasingly more present in his daily life. In an attempt to retrace what exactly inspires his own angst, he filmed and photographed situations in his daily life that triggered associations with terrorism. The photographs of these situations where taken back to the studio, where he used his archive of front pages, sensationalist headlines, and popular images to retrace the cause of the paranoia at that moment. With his therapeutic practice of collecting and deconstructing the visual make-up of a shared paranoia, Kuijpers questions how our perception of reality is led largely by sensationalism, fake news and irrational fears.

 

Exhibitions: Foam (NL), Unseen (NL)

Radio: Nooit meer slapen / VPRO (NL)

Review: Vice Creators (NL), Vrij Nederland (NL), het Parool (NL)

Publications: Foam Magazine #48 / Talent (ENG), Unseen Magazine (ENG), Grazia (FR), Der Greif (DE)