Anno Dijkstra – kathmandu triennale

Artist Profile

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Artwork Description


Anno Dijkstra is a sculpture who often uses images from the media (newspaper, internet) as a starting point for his sculptures. The artist tries to make us stand still and reflect about the amount of images that surrounds us. He turns these two-dimensional ‘realities’ into three dimensional sculptures. For the Kathmandu Triennale the artist makes a set of small size casts of sculptures in a range of grey tones. Mechanical looking objects are positioned next to human hands. The group of sculptures forms a riddle between form and content. The second sculpture is a hidden silhouette of a human figure standing in position. The blurry appearance is like the mirrored image of ourselves. Next to this the artist will also perform in the city of Kathmandu at an unknown time and place.


Anno Dijkstra sculpts images in order to slow down, to make the absent image present again. Modern communication media – television images, newspaper photos, computer images -  fast and ephemeral, show us the farthest reaches of the world. In the intimacy of our living rooms we become witnesses of things that are far away, but precisely because of this they emphasize the physical and emotional distance to the image we look at.

In his work the artist recently made a significant shift from an emphasis on iconic images which are part of our collective memory to portraits of people who can only be found in the anonymity of daily life. But the search for the central question of presentation and the use of the medium remains central. While the artist raised questions in his earlier work about our responsibility for events, which by means of ephemeral and continuously repeating media images are anchored in our collective memory, in more recent work he takes a step back and wonders what it means to be lifted out of anonymity and to be exposed as an image to countless invisible eyes.

We are continuously filmed, photographed, and watched; our images are multiplied countless times: we let our “selfies” circle around on various social media in which the relation between viewer and watched, voyeur and image, subject and object, even time and space, is completely pulled apart. The image leads its own life and is, unmoored from its owner, on its own journey along the stream of time. Anno Dijkstra wants to reverse this process, to freeze the image again, make it tangible and bring it to a standstill in our physical space so that it can be scrutinized and we can establish a distinct relationship to it.

While in his last work, The Unknown Citizen, without the knowledge of the person who is its ostensible subject, a monument was made thru an arbitrarily chosen Dutch citizen images of whom were retrieved by photo and internet; in The Making Of,  he concentrates on a prisoner who beyond anonymity has been taken out of society and made invisible. The work Process can be placed along the same line of development as it also questions the place and appropriation of an erased image. To whom does the image belong--to the owner, the maker, or the viewer? Can an image ever come together with its own projections? And what is the relation between image and memory? These are questions which the artist raises time and again in his work from such decidedly sensitive perspectives.