Everyday American life, Russian hippies and Arnon Grunberg at FOAM

Everyday American life, Russian hippies and Arnon Grunberg at FOAM

Mar 8, 2012 |  by  |  Art
About the author
Joris likes to listen and play with music and has a broad interest in people and their creative outbursts.

When I left work this afternoon for a lunch appointment it was almost as if Gerrit Hiemstra himself was pulling tricks on me for laughing at his last evening bulletin. The moment I got on my bike it started raining. At first it were just some modest drops but after a few blocks all hell broke loose. I got to café twenty minutes later, soaking out wet to my socks. Since going back to work or continuing my journey home wasn’t any option, I decided to check out an exhibition about Russian hippies in FOAM instead.

The Tribe 2011 © Pavel Prokopchik

Pavel Prokopchik – The Tribe

Besides the rain, the exhibition of Pavel Prokopchik was the main reason I went to the FOAM. I really got my hopes up because of some romantic reports about modern hippies who turned away from repressive Russian politics and materialism. People tend to accuse me of being a lefty sometimes, and in a way they are right. When I walked the stairs of the museum up to where the exhibition took place, I was daydreaming about how great it would be to live of selling just enough weed to be able to eat and sit at the campfire all night singing kumbaya. The photographs showed the picture I already had in my mind: satisfied alternative people minding their daily business in their own messy but carefree environment. Although I saw some nice images, I had expected more of it. They showed the hippies in their own habitat but it would’ve been very nice if I could see some encounters of them with the Russian society.

February 2nd – March 14th

Washington D.C., August 1974 © Joels Sternfeld, Courtesy of the artist and Caroline Burghadt on behalf of Joel Sternfeld and Luhring Augustine, New York

Joel Sternfeld – Color Photographs since 1970

The exhibition of Joel Sternfeld gets the most attention in FOAM. Two third of the museum is filled with his photos, so I can’t talk about them all. It varies from time capturing, day to day American images to photo reports with a sort of a whistle blower function. The nice thing about the ‘time capturing images’ is that they had a lot of humor in them. Sometimes in the form of a parked car that fell into a ravine due to a landslide, but most of the time they were just funny because they captured humorous moments of normal people. The ‘story telling pictures’ on the other hand were very interesting because it gives an extra dimension to a photo when you now there’s a tragic event behind it. Sadly you really need the text to get the picture so I caught myself spending more time reading the stories then looking at the photographs.

December 16th – March 14th

2010 © Wendela Hubrecht

Les Vacances de Monsieur Grunberg

‘Les vacances de monsieur Grunberg’ is a collaboration of Arnon Grunberg and Wendela Hubrecht. The concept is Arnon going on vacation with families he doesn’t know, selected from an audition. Although I really like the idea of a photo exhibition focussing on the family vacation as an art project, somehow this exhibition annoyed me a bit. Not because of the pictures, they showed a nice selection and they were funny to look at, but because it was Arnon Grunberg al over the place. I’m referring to this exhibition and beyond when I say that somehow he appears everywhere you do and don’t want to see him.

February 10th – March 18th

Feature image: The Tribe 2011 © Pavel Prokopchik

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