A new gallery is visible on the horizon in Amsterdam: Swiss gallery Bildhalle will open a new gallery space in the Hazenstraat in Amsterdam on 1 October. Bildhalle specialises in classic photography by renowned 20th century photographers, including Magnum photographers Thomas Hoepker, René Burri and Werner Bischof. Yet the gallery is also an avid supporter of contemporary photography. Mirjam Cavegn founded the gallery in Zurich in 2013, in a gallery landscape in which photography is still often exclusively presented in combination with visual art. But Cavegn wanted to focus purely on photography in her gallery.
Cavegn: “I grew up in a ‘photography addicted family’. My father used to be a well known photo book publisher. I worked for his publishing house for years and created many photo books. Later I worked as picture editor for many magazines, developed books as a freelancer and then worked in the communication business, creating image languages for companies. I see myself in the role as ambassador of photography. Bildhalle is the only Swiss gallery showing both classic ánd contemporary photography. In addition, I love the Netherlands and I have a strong relation with some Dutch collectors.”
Bildhalle’s opening exhibition will feature recent work by Dutch photographer Paul Cupido. Cupido: “My work is about the magic moments of life as well as its inconveniences. I want to take pictures, while forgetting about the process of photography, until I’m saturated with an existential sense of life. Every step I take begins with the notion of mono no aware: the transience of everything, the gentle melancholy of things, being sensitive to ephemera.” Cupid bases his work on the Japanese principle of Mu: a philosophical concept that can be translated as ‘does not have’. At the same time, Mu can also be interpreted in various other ways. Mu can also be described as a certain void, but a void with an inherent potential. For his most recent works, which he made in Japan, Cupid was inspired by the concept of muyaku, which he considers to fit within Mu's framework. Mukayu refers to ‘non-existence’, ‘not having a purpose’, or ‘things as they are’. Because in void, promise and possibilities lie.
Cupid prints his poetic photos on homemade paper or special Japanese washi paper, a material he appreciates for being imperfect and organic. They’re the result of a natural process, just like the images he often captures. With these less than perfect photos, he hopes to appeal more on the heart than to the brain of the viewer. Cupid: “The photo is an echo of the feelings I had during the process. I hope to convey that to the viewer's own imagination and feelings through the photo.”
The solo exhibition “Mukayu” will be on show until November 21 in Bildhalle in Amsterdam. The artist will be present during the opening days on October 1, 2 and 3 between 12 and 6 pm.