At Unseen 2021 Galerie Bart presents the latest works by Isabelle Wenzel and Jannemarein Renout. Both artists are showing works made in the past 1,5 years, and are unavoidably influenced by the current COVID-19 situation.
Confinement has forced photographer Jannemarein to rethink her working method. Fortunately, she recently obtained a large format printer, that made it possible for her to materialize the images herself. “Can a photographic image have a picturesque complexity?” Inspired by this thought, Jannemarein Renout explores and questions everyday life with all its absurdity and vulnerability. The ongoing art project Looking is Touching shows Jannemarein’s photographic and painterly investigation into her father’s identity. A few years ago her father questioned his identity and captured his search for himself in dozens of photos. The subjects vary from self-portraits and his daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, to objects that he collected over the years. This immense photo archive is an inexhaustible source for both Jannemarein’s quest and that of her father. In addition to the personal images, she shows enlarged short letters and notes that he has written. His incipient dementia becomes visible between the lines.
With her new series ‘Until Further Notice’, Isabelle Wenzel manages to visualize a mental state we all can relate to since the start of the pandemic. As ever, her own body is her focus. Made during the periods of confinement, she took the photographs in her house in Wuppertal, Germany. Some of the photographs show Isabelle’s body that wraps itself around plants, tables and vacuum cleaners. On others she hangs over doors or stands on her head in the corner against the wall. It is not clear whether she plays with the furniture, or is actually pushing and fighting against it. The result is a powerful image, in which the silent and private protest against the lockdown measures becomes eminent.