Benrubi Gallery is proud to present Unwired , the latest solo exhibition
from internationally acclaimed photographer Jacqueline Hassink. Unwired
was born from Hassink’s desire to find places that offer neither cell
phone reception nor wifi capability. The result is a series of arresting
landscapes and interiors which stand in deliberate contrast to iPortrait
(on view in the project room), featuring photographs of public
transportation users in Shanghai, Moscow, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Paris
For the photographs in Unwired , Hassink traveled to six locations globally
as far afield as Yakushima, an island in the extreme south of Japan, and Svalbard, a Norwegian island near the
Polar Circle. The landscapes are an intense study in blues and greens, by turns vivid and subdued, and shifting
perspectives and horizon lines, some immeasurably vast, others foreshortened by curtains of vegetation. The
contrasts make the viewer acutely conscious both of his or her body and its relationship to space. If the
immediate effect is isolating, it gradually relaxes into the sense of being part of a different kind of network,
global in the most literal sense of being “of the earth.” This feeling carries over into the exhibition’s two
interiors, both of which emphasize the viewer’s perspective and the experience of looking, as well as the
natural processes of decay and dilapidation. The message is clear: the things people make can be beautiful
and useful, but they’re temporary. On the one hand, this reflects an awareness mono no aware, the Japanese
aesthetic of the awareness of impermanence, but when we relate it back to the threatened environments in
the landscapes we see a more pointed critique of an industrialized society.
This sense is only heightened by iPortrait , itself shot on several iPhones, that features images of subway riders
using their smartphones. The environments are crowded but the photographs communicate the isolation of
people lost inside their screens. In contrast to the feeling of connectivity that smart phone and
communications companies relentlessly sell us, we see a series of individual cut off both from their immediate
surroundings and, as suggested by the vast urban areas these means of transportation cover, the places they
live as well. People interact not with their world but an idea of it, and in so doing may lose themselves as well.
Jacqueline Hassink (b. 1966, Netherlands) Hassink’s work has been widely collected and exhibited, including
shows at Huis Marseille in Amsterdam; Fotomuseum Winterthur; ICP in New York and the Museum of
Photographic Arts in San Diego; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum for Photography; The Photographers’ Gallery, the
Victoria and Albert Museum and the Saatchi Gallery in London; the Guangzhou Museum of Modern Art,
Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain (France) and recently at the Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam.
It has also appeared in such publications as The Financial Times, Le Monde, The New York Times, The New
Yorker, El Pais, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Süddeutsche Zeitung, De Standaard, NZZ, Newsweek, Fortune,
and Wired. She is the winner of the Rencontres d'Arles 2002 Unlimited Award and the Dutch Doc Award 2013.
She was shortlisted for Prix Pictet 2012, one of the most prestigious photography prizes in the world. In 2013
she was shortlisted for the Henri Cartier Bresson Award. In 2017 she won the Dutch Design Award for the app
White Spots that was developed by Richard Vijgen in collaboration with Bregtje van der Haak. This year her
book Unwired is shortlisted for the PHotoESPAÑA 2018 Best Photography Book of the Year Award.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a book Unwired . The book is designed by Irma Boom and published by
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Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 10am - 6pm. We will be closed May 26 in observance of Memorial Day.
Summer Hours: June 18 - September 3: Monday - Thursday: 10am - 5pm, Friday: 10am - 2pm