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Political Chaos
Paul Kooiker, Political Chaos 2006
pigment ink on rag paper, 50 cm x 50 cm, #8
Van Zoetendaal Amsterdam

Paul Kooiker »

Political Chaos

Exhibition: 13 Jan – 18 Feb 2007

Van Zoetendaal

Oude Schans 67f
1011 KW Amsterdam

+31 (0)-618092399


www.vanzoetendaal.com

Van Zoetendaal Amsterdam Paul Kooiker "Political Chaos" 13 January - 18 February 2007 In early 2006 Paul Kooiker spent three months as an artist in residence in the coastal city of Xiamen, in China. Under the influence of the turbulent economic developments in China, and the consequences these are having on contemporary Chinese society, as he travelled Kooiker photographed what he found around him. Spurred by his previous fascination with the historical propaganda photographs of Mao swimming in the Yangtze river, from the beach he photographed people swimming in the sea. They are far away, sometimes so far that a head appears no larger than a pinhead on the immense, heaving surface of the water. This isolation reflects the inevitable doubt and confusion that is the result of the lightning-fast changes in a fast-growing economy resting on the foundation of a Communist dictatorship. The series "Political Chaos", being shown in Gallery Van Zoetendaal, consists of about 24 framed images: men in waves, in a wide diversity of colours that are far from Dutch. In this approach those who know Kooiker's work will recognise his way of collecting images in series. Only in this case they are not women rushing around in the dunes, or spurting fountains of Paris, but isolated men in a political chaos.


Foam_Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Paul Kooiker "Paradise Twenty-One" 14 December 2006 to 11 February 2007 Paradise Twenty-One presents various series of photos and new video work made over the last ten years by Dutch photographer Paul Kooiker. Kooiker's work reflects his fascination for perception. He focuses on the female form, which appears in his work in many different ways. His oeuvre is a contemporary continuation of a traditional theme: the relationship between artist and model, viewer and viewed, object and subject. You never feel at ease when viewing work by Paul Kooiker. Not that you turn away, because the image is always compelling. You keep looking, despite that disturbing feeling. Generally subtle, occasionally challenging. Kooiker approaches each series as a project. Because he works with series, the definitive value of each individual image is only apparent as part of the whole. With his series of forty blurred photos of a stretch of woodland in which women appear to be peeing in the open air, Kooiker won the 1996 Prix de Rome for photography. This voyeuristic motif is a constant theme in his work and is explored in a playful way in his 'Hunting and Fishing' series (1999): in a lush green landscape we see blurred forms of naked women running away from us. Sometimes a series may expresses erotic desire, associated with observation; sometimes the emphasis is on the study of models posing in less than erotic positions. As in the 'Model Studies 2001' and 'Showground 2004' series, in which the setting is confined to Paul Kooiker's studio. The result may be beautiful, disturbing, ironic or intriguing, but always personal. Paul Kooiker (b. 1964, Rotterdam) graduated in 1992 at Amsterdam's Rijksacademie van Beeldende Kunsten and has since exhibited work in numerous shows in Holland and abroad. Kooiker has published several works, some of which are featured in this exhibition. In addition to photography, Kooiker also teaches at Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam. He is currently represented by Galerie van Zoetendaal where an exhibition of Kooiker's latest work opens in January 2007 on the theme of a Residence in Xiamen, China.

Political Chaos
Paul Kooiker "Paradise Twenty-One" at
foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Untitled, 2006, from the installation 'Paradise Twenty-One' © Paul Kooiker / Van Zoetendaal Collections
Political Chaos
Paul Kooiker "Paradise Twenty-One" at
foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Untitled, 2001, from the series 'Modelstudie' © Paul Kooiker / Van Zoetendaal Collections
Political Chaos
Paul Kooiker "Paradise Twenty-One" at
foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam
Untitled, 1999, from the series 'Hunting and Fishing' © Paul Kooiker / Van Zoetendaal Collections