Anouk Kruithof

Anouk Kruithof (1981, NL) is a visual artist whose multilayered approach encompasses photography, sculpture, installation, photo-montage, text, performance, video and interventions in the public space. Kruithof lives and works between Belgium, The Netherlands, and the Amazon rainforest in Suriname. Her work is an investigation into the online representation of urgent societal themes, like government surveillance, pollution or climate change.

Past exhibitions include a.o. MoMA (US), the ICP (US), the Stedelijk Museum (NL), FOAM (NL), the Netherlands Photo Museum (NL), the MBAL (CH), the Xiangning Art Museum (CN), the Center for Photography at Woodstock (US), Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin (DE), Museum Tinguely (CH), the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow (RU), Erarta Museum (RU), Daegu Arts Center (KOR), Museum De Domijnen (NL), MAMAC (BE), Manifesta (FR), Marca Museum (IT). Kruithof received public prize Volkskrant Beeldende Kunstprijs (2016), the Meijburg Art Commission (2015), the Charlotte Köhler Prize in the Netherlands (2014), the Infinity Award of the International Center for Photography in New York (2012), and the Jury Grand Prize of Festival International de Mode et de Photographie in Hyères (2011). Her work is in the collections at a.o. FOAM, the Stedelijk Museum, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Aperture Foundation, Museum Het Domein Sittard. Kruithof’s artist books are part of the public collections of the New York Museum of Modern Art Library, the ICP Library, the New York Public Library, Pier 24 Library, the MBAL, and the library of the Stedelijk Museum.

Trans Human Nature is the story of a personal traversal and an artistic exploration that Anouk Kruithof made in and around Botopasi, a small village in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in Suriname that is only connected to civilization through the Suriname river. In this village, she works in symbiosis with nature and the population. Kruithof makes prints of her collection of digital stock photos representing our technological future on fabrics, organic silk or pvc plastics. She takes those prints aboard the pirogues (dugout canoes) that connect the village to the outside world, or takes them on forest hikes, immerses them in the river and hides them in the greenery – while observing their capacity to becoming one with a wild, powerful and sometimes also violent nature. The images she produces then come to relate a self-transformative process through the contact with a dense and tropical nature. What happens to becoming stone, to becoming plant? What happens to these hypnotic experiences in which we dilate our pores and our thoughts?

Between fascination and fantasy, we trail the artist’s attempts to come closer, to hybridize wild nature and to produce there an aqueous, liquid surface reflecting our humanity. The vegetal and natural materials intertwine with the faces of transhumanism, distorts and covers them, and projects onto it mutant, blurred and fertile identities. Anouk Kruithof explores the myth of a hybridized, polyphonic and harmonious nature, which we would like to visit ourselves to lay out there our own fantasies of transformation for the self and for others. A book of the project Trans Human Nature was self-published in 2023.

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