Mirjam Kooiman, Curator

 Illustration by  Jeffrey Phillips

Illustration by Jeffrey Phillips

Mirjam Kooiman (Netherlands, b. 1990) is an art historian and recently started working as a curator at Foam Photography Museum Amsterdam. She pursued her interest in photography in Paris during a semester at the Université Paris VIII. Before that, she carried out research on the historical photography collection of the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam.

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Body of Work,
by Bruce Connew

"As Bruce Connew writes in the short note in the back of of the book, in the first instance, 'Body of Work' is about the orchestrated process of horse breeding. Seeing his dark yet crisp detailed observations in black and white of the swollen veins, the mournful eyes, the spraying of bodily fluids, a human hand directing a stallion's penis, this book is about power relations, between human and horse; between mare and stallion. A remarkable book, breathtakingly sensitive yet confrontational and powerful in both its subject and execution."

 

Confabulations,
by Torbjørn Rødland

"My interest in Rødland's books, of which Confabulations is (currently) my favorite, is twofold. However two-dimensional the medium of photography might be, his photographs are all about touch and expressing physicality through its flat surface. You don't only see, you feel his images. His aesthetics hold between disgust and desire — or desire coming forth out of disgust? Flipping through this wonderful book, you'll find that each photograph seems to bear a story of its own. But what are they exactly telling you?"

 

Matter / Burn Out,
by Daisuke Yokota

"Even if photography is hard to think of as a performance medium — as it always ends up having a static form — this book could be considered as a performance in itself. In 2015, Daisuke Yokota set fire to his installation 'Matter' at an abandoned construction site, after the work had been exhibited at a photography festival. This ‘burn out’ process was documented by the artist in 4,000 photographs, whereby the data was processed, manipulated and revived and brought together in the book 'Matter / Burn Out'. This work is, in essence, a performance piece in which photographs were the engine of the performance rather than a record of it. Yokota is currently active within the Japanese collective Spew that constantly produces intriguing books with this performative idea of photography as action rather than documentation in mind."

 

Sentimental Journey/Winter Journey,
by Nobuyoshi Araki

"I used to have some difficulty with understanding Araki's work of erotic bondage whenever I would randomly encounter his prints at those big photography fairs, until I saw this book. 'Sentimental Journey/Winter Journey' is a documentation of Araki's wedding and honeymoon with his wife Yoko, up to her last days. Technique and composition aren't of any importance here: it's the pure honesty with which he has documented his life with her - and losing her - that makes the experience of the book as having someone's diary in your hands. Without words, his photographs of her while they were having sex explained everything to me about all the work he made ever after."