Willemtwee Kunstruimte, ’s Hertogenbosch, NL

In The toes you step on today might be connected to the ass you’re kissing tomorrow, Anouk Kruithof presents a seductive and critical total experience, consisting of a series of sculptures, collages and a window sticker installation, specially developed for the Kunstruimte.

With her work, Kruithof raises the question of whether the enormous amount of photos that are being shared online to create social awareness actually have the opposite effect and lead to social apathy and indifference. She collected and arranged thousands of images of oceans, photosynthesis, bacteria, space debris and protests, and brought them together in one powerful physical image. With her unique three-dimensional visual language, she bridges the gap between the tangible world and the way in which this manifests itself online, while making us aware of our own image consumption.

The alienating sculptures – built from metal and Styrofoam casings for electronic devices – pose as fashion models from an ominous future world. They are seductive and terrifying at the same time. Their gloss and colour are attractive, but their monstrous shapes seem to warn us of the consequences of our distorted relationship with the earth. The detailed photo skins symbolise the fragility of our planet, which cries out for care, action and change.

The title of this exhibition – The toes you step on today might be connected to the ass you’re kissing tomorrow – refers to a protest sign from one of the thousands of photos of protests that took place worldwide between 2017 and 2022. Together with a team of assistants, Kruithof collected these photos and then cut out the protest signs by hand. The enormous number of zealous texts form the basis for the two gigantic collages of clenched fists and the impressive window installation. For the latter, Kruithof enlarged the images, creating a rich variety of abstract pixel images that immerse the Kunstruimte in a colourful light.

With her work, Kruithof wants us to think actively about our own actions. By creating a new image with dizzying details, she shows that, although the influence of an individual seems nil, the effect can be great if people take action en masse.