- Session Berlin 20 / Babylon Kino / Main Stage
Erik Kessels is a man of many facets. The Dutch graphic designer, advertising manager, editor, collector, exhibition curator and artist exemplifies the versatile creator of the digital age who engages in the full range of creative activities. In his projects, Kessels pays close attention to the most popular or trivial forms of photography, such as family albums and commercial documentation, which would normally be rejected by canon-defining museums. Taking advantage of the extraordinary abundance and availability of images today, Kessels sifts and recycles cast-off materials, like a waste-picker in search of overlooked treasures. He is well-known as a book publisher specialising in absurdist found photography, extensively publishing his and others’ found and vernacular photography. Erik has published over 50 books of his re-appropriated images. Notable works include the long-running series “Useful Photography”, which he edits with others, and his own “In Almost Every Picture”.
Erik is also the founder of KesselsKramer, an international communications agency based in Amsterdam. It has been operational since 1996. Its notable advertising campaigns have been “The Worst Hotel In The World” for Hans Brinker Budget Hotel in Amsterdam and “I Amsterdam” for the city of Amsterdam. The agency also produced an internationally awarded film, “The Other Final”, which told the story of a football match between the world’s lowest ranking teams taking place on the same day as the 2002 World Cup Final. As well as advertising, KesselsKramer develops projects for its own imprint, KesselsKramer Publishing.
Eric has presented numerous exhibitions at Fotografia Europe, Centquatre-Paris, Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Pier 24 Photography in San Francisco, amongst others. In 2010, he received the Amsterdam Prize of the Arts, and in 2012 he was elected the most influential creative in the Netherlands. In 2016 he was nominated for the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize.