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Exhibition -

Popel Coumou - New Work & Book Presentation

Popel Coumou - New Work & Book Presentation

Exhibition overview:

26 May - 30 Jun 2012

TORCH gallery

Saturday the 26th of May TORCH gallery opens with a solo-exhibition of new works by Dutch photographer Popel Coumou (1978). During this festive event her first catalogue will be presented by Els Barents, director of Huis Marseille, museum of photography in Amsterdam. The publication is designed by Willem van Zoetendaal and published by Van Zoetendaal Publishers and TORCH.



The first book is a milestone for many artists. It is a crowning achievement when the results of many years of carefully building an oeuvre are captured in a publication. Popel choose a book design that fits seamlessly within her artistic practice. Images of her photographs are interspersed with sober gray pages which together form a monumental whole.


In her work Popel approaches the idea of a space by applying an unusual and labour-intensive process. The pieces start with a small letter-sized collage build up from several layers of coloured paper, transparent plastics and fragments of photographs. This collage is then placed on a natural or artificial light source and photographed with an analogue camera. The enlarged final prints of these photographs emphasize the gritty structure of the analogue image. By using this technique she is able to play with both the geometrical composition on the surface of the image and with the spatial expectations of what is represented. Often the tape used to construct the images is distinctly visible but this never disrupts the illusion of a three-dimensional space.


The aesthetics and visual power of these pieces can not solely be seen as the result of this remarkable technique. Only after a second glance one notices the emotional complexity of these photographs. Often a gorgeous idyll is contrasted with a sober emptiness and signs of life clash with impersonal geometrical cropping. These visual contradictions hold the attention of the spectator whilst slowly but surely the visual experience of the work develops. Popel's first catalogue is designed with this in mind. It is made both for browsing and for a more careful contemplation of her works.


The photographs by Popel Coumou are part of the collections of FOAM Amsterdam, Huis Marseille, Gemeente Museum Den Haag (The Hague), Het Domein in Sittard and several corporate- and government collections. Popel has been represented by TORCH gallery since 2010 and her works are exhibited worldwide. The book was made possible in part by twenty people purchasing a special edition of her work. For further information we would like to refer you to the contact info below.


Popel Coumou, Untitled, 2011, 136 pages, softcover, Available through Van Zoetendaal publishers and TORCH gallery. €35,-


The opening of this exhibition will be kindly sponsored by Vedett