Untitled (nude) is the first major museum exhibition of Paul Kooiker’s (NL, °1964) work outside the Netherlands. This alternative retrospective, focused on “watching”, voyeurism and distance, draws the viewer into a confusing, destabilising creative and obsessive vacuum.
A new work that was created specially for FOMU takes centre stage: Eggs and Rarities (2018). This room-sized installation is Kooiker’s “encyclopaedia of life” and reads like a sampler of photography genres: landscape, nude, still life, etc. Public and private spaces merge into each other. Kooiker’s most baroque project, Sunday (2011), is inspired by the relationship between artist and model, observer and observed. As the viewer, you are obliged to ask questions and take a position (sometimes literally) on the objectification of the female body.
The Heaven series (2012) – a selection of 494 Polaroids from Kooiker’s analogue archive – gives us a glimpse into the artist’s engine room. FOMU is also showing a comprehensive overview of his publications, from the early Hunting and Fishing (1999) to more obscure works such as S/S 13 Island (2013), created for fashion designer Rick Owens. The exhibition Untitled (Nude) poses questions about both the role of the photographer and that of the viewer and their gaze.
In September 2018, the book to accompany the exhibition, Eggs and Rarities, will be co-published by Art Paper Editions, Dashwood Books and FOMU.
This exhibition is part of Antwerp Baroque 2018. Rubens inspires.
Curator: Joachim Naudts
Image: © Paul Kooiker, from the series Eggs and Rarities, 2018.