Jan Rosseel

< BACK

On the Aesthetics of Violence, 2016


Prix Pictet Photography Prize Nominee and Foam Talent 2014 Jan Rosseel draws you in with aesthetics and surprises; all is not what it seems with his images. His series for Unseen, On the Aesthetics of Violence, is the first part of a long-term project focusing on memory, which he plans to exhibit over the course of the next two years. For this part, he takes images he finds on the Internet, or re-photographs news images, of pivotal events that have happened since the dawn of the digital age. Rosseel then recontextualises these images into blocks of colour similar to what you see when images are failing to load online.

Rosseel has a background in documentary photography and photojournalism from The Hague’s Royal Academy of Art and Danish School of Media and Journalism, and his meticulous research methodology is apparent. For this project, he collaborated with NIAS (Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences) as its first artist-in-residence. This research is underpinned by a strong conceptual approach: “I wanted to comment on the way we consume images without realising their full context. For instance, the beheading of a journalist by ISIS can be watched while sipping a Latte in a café. We’re always connected, but so disconnected from the reality of violence at the same time.”

As a result, On the Aesthetics of Violence is not only conceptually very strong, but also visually appealing. What’s interesting is the moment of realisation, you look at the image and you might enjoy the composition, only to discover in a second instant that you’re looking at an abstracted image from the 7/7 London bombings, which totally changes how you process the image.

Rosseel’s renowned project Belgian Autumn (2013) investigated similar issues relating to memory, history and the media. Stories, either historical or personal, always inform his art. This ‘collector of memories’ has electrified the art world in recent years with work that is sure to stand the test of time. On the Aesthetics of Violence promises to do the same.
JF01 - James Foley (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016LB 01 - London Bombing (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016CH 01 - Charlie Hebdo (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016IS 01 - IS/ISIS (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016OB 01 - Osama Bin Laden (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016SH 01 - Execution Sadam Houssein (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016LB 01 - Le Bataclan Paris (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016TT 01 - Twin Towers NYC (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016TT J 01 (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016TT J 02 (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016TT J 03 (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016TT J 03 (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016K 01 (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016
JF01 - James Foley (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016
Title: JF01 - James Foley (On the Aesthetics of Violence) 2016
Print size: 62 x 87 cm / framed 64,6 x 89,6 cm
Edition of 9
Giclee print on Hahnemuhle Fine Art Paper, framed, art glass