For the series Petrified Sensibilities, Anouk Kruithof printed found or bought aerial photographs of environmental disasters (such as oil spills and chemical waste dumps) on latex. She then shaped these as organ-alike shapes out of oxygen, anaesthesia or gel masks, laryngeal mask airways and tight together with oxygen tubing. These medical objects refer to the technological accomplishments of the human race, but also to the resulting artificiality, numbness and metaphorical lameness that result from it. The prosthesis-like images demonstrate not only a modification of the real, but also of the nature of the images we know as belonging to the real. Besides, it would be more accurate to speak of prosthesis-like photographs, as Anouk Kruithof’s work explores the contemporary photography field, specifically in its loosest meaning, as a not produced but reproduced image.

As if the photograph of a disaster is our only proof that the disaster did happen and therefore exists, the photograph becomes the substitute for a reality we endure without ever experiencing it. Facing this post-produced ecosystem where the representation of a thing is not what hides it—as the post-moderns wanted to believe—but is the thing itself, Anouk Kruithof’s works act as emotional laboratories. At the same time images and materials, their physicality is of this particular ambiguous quality that suspends all attempts at rational understanding: are they too teasing, and therefore toxic…


11.09.–31.10 2020 Jan Paul Evers & Anouk Kruithof (duo), galerie Jo van de Loo, Munchen, Germany 
27.11.2017–28.01.2018 ¡Aguas! Next Level (solo) FOAM Amsterdam
07.10.–12.11.2017 The Aesthetics of Contamination (solo) Galerie Valeria Cetraro, Paris
27.09.2020–21.02.2021 La photographie à l’épreuve de l’abstraction, Centre Photographique d’Ile-de-France and le Frac Normandie-Rouen, France 
10.09.–25.10.2020 Spoiled Waters Spilled, Manifesta13, Parallel Du Sud Program, at Le Ballet National Marseille (BNM)


The Aesthetics of Contamination by Ingrid Luquet-Gad