Ten Haaf Projects is pleased to announce “Spoonerism,” a solo exhibition by French multimedia artist Thomas Mailaender. Commonly referring to a humorous error in speech or intentional play on words, the term spoonerism applies visually to some of Mailaender’s works, which are based on deliberate absurdities that make sense. With that in mind, the show brings attention to the unexpected connections that might occur when interpreting a mix of objects: curious cyanotypes, a hanging mobile of yellow ceramic smileys and a tattooed toilet, for instance.
While Mailaender’s projects might involve media such as ceramics, tattoos, toilet paper, stone and live chickens, the majority feature photography in a contemporary way, often by creating photomontages, to incorporate self-portraits or other images collected from flea markets and the Internet. Previous series include “Sponsoring,” a set of bank check ceremony pictures found on big companies’ websites that Mailaender stepped into through an extremely time-consuming process of photo-manipulation, placing himself as the proud recipient of giant checks representing over three million dollars in donations from various firms.
In addition to creating “The Fun Archive” image bank and producing a number of books, Mailaender frequently collaborates with remarkable specialists, work that leads to some surprising results, namely “Life is a Beach” (2006) with sand sculpture champion Benoit Dutherage and “Extreme Tourism” (2011); twenty self-portraits integrated into magma landscape shots by professional volcano photographer Steve Young.
Born in 1979, Thomas Mailaender lives in Marseille and Paris. Having earned a master’s degree from École Nationale des Arts Décoratifs Paris, Mailaender continued his studies for a year at La Villa Arson in Nice. Since 2009, his work has been shown in exhibitions throughout Europe, as well as in New York and Monterrey, Mexico. In 2013, he was one of the 100 international photographers nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award. This is Mailaender’s first solo exhibition in The Netherlands.