Erik Kessels

Erik Kessels is a Dutch artist, designer and curator with great interest in photography. Kessels is since 1996 Creative Partner of communications agency KesselsKramer in Amsterdam and London.

As an artist and curator Kessels has published over 80 books of his ‘re-appropriated’ images and has written the international bestseller Failed It!
Kessels made and curated exhibitions such as Loving Your Pictures, Mother Nature, 24HRS in Photos, Album Beauty, Unfinished Father and GroupShow.

His mid-career retrospective was shown in Turin, Düsseldorf, Budapest and he exhibited recently in the SFMOMA. He was called “a visual sorcerer” by Time Magazine and a “Modern Anthropologist” by Voque (Italia).

Storytelling with Vernacular Photography


Over the 20 years of his career, Kessels has come to the fore as a main and unquestionable reference in the field of so-called ‘found photography’. Instead of shooting new images, for most of his projects he brings together pre-existent photographs and reuses them as tiles to form his own mosaic.

He is an artist without a camera or even a lens: in his practice, photography is a ready-made element to be sampled and re-contextualised. The result is a sort of eco-system of images, through which nothing is added to the enormous quantity of imagery which now crowds out the world and grows exponentially day by day, but which on the contrary merely recoups and recycles that which is already there.

In this talk, Kessels will highlight his latest projects and gives an insight in working with the re-appropriation of images.

Another subject of the lecture is the role of images in the time we live in and how you can look at these in other ways than simply consuming them.

General Session: Keynote

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