TORCH Gallery is pleased to invite you to the solo show and book presentation of photographers’ duo Anuschka Blommers and Niels Schumm.
Since they graduated from the Rietveld Academy in 1996, Anuschka Blommers (Purmerend, 1969) and Niels Schumm (Naarden, 1969) have been working together. Collaborating on assignments for both emergent and well-established magazines such as Vogue, RE-magazine and I-D, in a few years, they have become a household name in the field of fashion photography. For, in fact, their work does more than just fulfill the standards of the Glossy industry; it gives them a new array of expressive strategies. They rely on the very potency of the medium of photography to both describe and mystify the object of its representation. Their work capitalizes on the technicalities and ontology of photography while also laying the grounds for thinking about them anew. Blommers and Schumm take the indexical power of photography to its most extreme consequences. For instance, their highly detailed depictions of their models’ skin share their precision with that of medical records. Yet, the solemn and enigmatic gestures and facial expressions of the photographic subjects remind one of the best portraits of western art –those that unveil the ungraspable nature of human beings. And again, where one would expect glamour and fame, Blommers and Schumm offer sobriety and unknown personalities. Their work constantly invites one to reconsider the tropes bound to defined traditions, whether it is that of fashion photography or that of so-called high art. However, their work does not only merge different discourses, blur aesthetic categories and play on historical references, they result to be extremely attractive, visually. Beyond the technical, conceptual and circumstantial subtleties of their photographic work, Blommers and Schumm constantly challenge us in our knowledge of what we think we perceive. And this, they achieve while never failing in seducing us into loving what we see. Their art is that of the pleasures of chasing meaning, drifting across the photographic skin.
Catherine Somzé, Amsterdam 2006