www.mo-artgallery.com 

MARIKEN WESSELS

 

Queen Ann. P.S. Belly cut off, artists' book with 2 original unpublished photographs on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 80 pages full color (Dutch/Eng), 24 x 33 cm. /9.4 x 13 inches, sewn paperback (cold glue), edition 75, artists' book and each photograph signed and numbered, presented in a handmade box, 2010

€ 149,-

cover

 

handmade box

 

 original unpublished photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

 

 original unpublished photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

 

content of the book, several pages

 

1

 

 

3

 

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

In Queen Ann. P.S. Belly cut off it is the unfolding of a melancholic narrative of a woman, whose life seems to be dominated by her obesity. Yet the reader is never turned into a voyeur. ‘Queen Ann’s’ peculiar and touching photo collages of herself, expressing a longing for another ‘being’, are fused with the image that the book evokes around her persona. In the contrast which the arrangement of the photos make all too evident, an uncomfortable incompatibility emerges between the present and the past life of Ann and the status of being beautiful.

Queen Ann. P.S. Belly cut off is mentioned as one of the 10 best photobooks of 2010 by Joerg Colberg on Conscientious.com and by Rémi Coignet on LeMonde.fr.  "Founds photographs, remixed, recycled, re-edited. Brilliant".

Elisabeth - I want to eat -, artists' book with 2 original unpublished photographs on Hahnemühle Photo Rag, 80 pages full color (Dutch/Eng), 24 x 33 cm. /9.4 x 13 inches, sewn paperback (cold glue), including six thin colour-paper inserts, edition 75, artists' book and each photograph signed and numbered, presented in a handmade box, 2010

€ 149,-

 

cover

 

handmade box

 

original unpublished photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

 

original unpublished photograph on Hahnemühle Photo Rag

 

content of the book, several pages

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

5

 

6

 

7

 

8

 

9

 

Elisabeth - I want to eat - consists of a collection of anonymous photographs, letters and postcards belonging to a young woman, which the artist stumbled upon in a shop in the Hendrik Jacobszstraat in Amsterdam. Wessels appropriates the found material in her own way, by photographing the images, creatively processing and arranging them, as well as occasionally adding her own material. The intensity and sensuality of the photographs are reminiscent of the work of master photographers like Gerard Fieret and Miroslaw Tichý. They depict a young woman defiantly posing in front of the camera, both figuratively and literally exposing herself. The black and white photographs are worn out, frayed by numerous scratches and dust particles, blending together both the exaltation and melancholy recorded in them. Apart from the photographs, the book carries a series of printed postcards and letters addressed to Elisabeth, from which the reader gradually infers that her life was thrown off track in some way. ‘Religion, order, discipline, detachment from the quest for ambition’ – these are, in brief, the ingredients of advice, with which a family member proposes to ‘heal’ her. Yet the person giving her advice himself tells no straightforward story. One is in fact left wondering which of the two people is more bizarre. There is a stark contrast in the book between the idyllic landscapes in the postcards painted in sweet watercolour and the disarming directness of Elisabeth’s gaze in to the camera. The book contains thin colour-paper inserts, on which the letters and postcards to Elisabeth almost transform into a direct appeal to the reader. The title of the publication is taken from the only letter in the book penned by Elisabeth herself, addressed to an unknown friend:

‘(...) The last time I saw you it was nice and I felt much better. Are you still in Brussels? I don’t know but I liked the house you lived and the streets there. I want to eat.’

 

The book has been awarded the Silver Medal Award at the Fotofestival di Roma Book Prize Award. "All books selected by the jury are finished works in their own right, greater than an exhibition of their parts. The narrative characteristics normally associated with the nature of a journal are present in all the final selections." 

Melanie McWhorter