For her 'Garage Stills' project Wessels is looking for traditional car repair garages
all over the world. She is fascinated and intrigued by the shapes and colours of the mysterious, to her completely unknown objects she discovers in this wonderful world. With the found attributes she creates still lifes on the spot, which she captures with an analogue camera. By extracting the objects from their natural function and arranging them in a completely new way, Wessels gives them a totally different dimension in her surprising compositions. The poetic Garage Stills with challenging colour formations and investigative staging have an attractive beauty, but are also a document of a disappearing world.
Wessels approaches this series with her documentary background in mind, however she takes the liberty in this male dominated world of rough-around-the-edges garages to move objects or to remove them and to light her staged still life. In the interiors of the old garages she found in Cambodia, Cuba, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Poland, Turkey, Russia, South-Africa, Japan and Sri Lanka, she stages her newly discovered materials into a collage-like image. All garages seem to have the same stereotypical elements. Only at second glance does the viewer discover small cultural differences that can be found in the details. The still lifes that arise subsequently are remarkable in terms of colour and often have a playful appeal.
Because of science and technical development, cars have developed into computer-controlled machines. As a result, the former 'personal and organized chaos' in the garages is being replaced by sterile order, as a result of which contemporary garages increasingly start to resemble scientific laboratories. The traditional garages where manual labour is still central are slowly dying out. In the Garage Stills series you can feel the presence of the mechanics even though they are not in the picture, the atmosphere and the hustle and bustle of their working environment are frozen in a fixed picture. The old garages, which previously stood for progress and are now being overtaken by new technologies, have been recorded in this series before they will disappear.
From time to time Wessels began to capture the garages’ environment by looking for the meagre bits of nature in the immediate vicinity. With the intensive work in the garages, Wessels looked forward to nature in the long run - the counterpart of the car industry, which in some places even slowly takes over the old garages.
Works from the 'Garage Stills' series are included in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (NL), and Huis Marseille, the museum for photography in Amsterdam (NL). The Garage Stills will be on show in December 2021 in a solo exhibition at PAN | Palazzo delle Arti di Napoli in Italy and they were among others on show from September 16 - October 27, 2018 at Galerie Baudelaire in Antwerpen. Furthermore they were selected for the group exhibition 'Photography Extended', which showed the latest development in the area of Dutch staged photography in Museum het Valkhof in Nijmegen and were chosen for the photography festival Encontros da Imagem 2017 in Braga (Portugal), with a special presentation. A book will shortly be published on the 'Garage Stills' series.
Installation views exhibitions 'Garage Stills':
In Paramaribo, the main city of Suriname,
Jacquie Maria Wessels photographed city scenes, dominated by the typically Surinamese wall paintings. This carefully composed photo series is sometimes alienating and surreal. The works show how residents of the city appropriate the space and capture a cultural and economic image of time in Paramaribo. The hand-painted advertisements contain hyper-realistic images of, among other things, tools, soup cans, oatmeal, sausages and incentives such as 'Do your best at school' .....
Recently, this series was on show in the Photo Route Bijlmer, an outdoor exhibition with 50 large format photographs in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost and last year in a solo exhibition in the Surinamese Museum in Paramaribo.
The analogue photographed series 'Cityscapes' is published in the Photo Book ‘Cityscapes + Birdmen’ by Voetnoot publishers in Antwerp Belgium and internationally by Idea Books. ISBN 978-90-78068-662 The Book won two final awards in the international book awards (USA) in 2011.
Installation views exhibitions 'Cityscapes + Birdmen':
This series shows portraits made in Suriname
and the Netherlands, of many macho Surinamese men who are obsessed with their little songbirds. The ‘caged bird’ is the leading actor in songbird contests. In this ‘most popular sport in Suriname’ men from all segments of the population come together amiably, in peaceful combat over which bird sings the best and who wins the first prize. Stereotypical male attributes such as clothing, cars and motorcycles play an important role in this lifestyle but in the photographs by Jacquie Maria Wessels the men also reveal another side of themselves.
After the independence of Suriname in 1975 this pastime came to the Netherlands along with the Surinamese people. Both in Suriname and the Netherlands the contests are held very early on Sunday mornings: in Paramaribo on Independence Square, over to the Suriname River, and in the Netherlands on lawns in parks, especially designated for this, in Amsterdam, The Hague and other cities.
Recently, this series was on show in the Photo Route Bijlmer, an outdoor exhibition with 50 large format photographs in Amsterdam Zuid-Oost and in 2017 in a solo exhibition in the Surinamese Museum in Paramaribo. In 2010 the series ‘Birdman’ was on show at the PhotoBienniale in Greece in the main exhibition ‘Topos’ and in 2010/2011 it was part of the 'PhotoBienniale Restrospective' at the Museum of Photography Thessaloniki in Greece.
The analogue on 6x6 series 'The Birdman' is published in the Photo Book ‘Cityscapes + Birdmen’ by Voetnoot Publishers in Antwerp Belgium and internationally by Idea Books. ISBN 978-90-78068-662 The Book won two final awards in the international book awards (USA) in 2011.
Installation views exhibitions 'Birdmen':
In ‘Living Spaces’ Jacquie Maria Wessels
portrayed inhabitants inside their homes. Subsequently she mounted the exterior and surroundings of their houses around these portraits. It resulted in a spatial experience of the inhabitants' way of life.
With this series Wessels shows us how people live and sheds light on their different lifestyles. The living spaces and their inhabitants form an integrated whole. Through combining the exterior of the houses with the interior she gives the viewer a personal insight and creates a layered image of the inhabitants.
This analogue photographed series has been exhibited amongst others at the Dutch Photo Festival in Naarden, the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in Groningen in the main exhibition ‘Sense of Space’, the Pride Photo Award Exhibition in Amsterdam and the New York Photo Festival in the US. This series is part of the Art Collection of the Province of Noord-Holland in The Netherlands.
Family at home
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This series represents the memory of places
you might have been. Mostly the memory is not clear with precise detail. It can work as an afterimage, vague sometimes with patches...
The subjects in these photo works are mostly landscapes. Wessels made them with an analogue 35mm camera during her travels but also in the neighbourhood where she lives.
In 1996/1997 Wessels made a road trip from
San Diego to San Francisco. During this trip Wessels photographed the people she came across within the public spaces of the cities she visited.
With this series Wessels wants to give an overview of the inhabitants and visitors of the cities in their social surroundings. Wessels captured with her analogue camera the people in different urban settings, showing the diversity of people within a city.
‘Eating in Public Places’, was shot in
Amsterdam and focuses on the social context of eating. Not the eating itself is here important, but the diversity and interacting of people while they are eating.
‘Amsterdam Eating’ is an idea of Wessels and was commissioned in 1994 by Amsterdam’s Fonds voor de Kunst and Municipal Archives of Amsterdam. This series has been exposed and published in several ways i.e. Amsterdam’s Historisch Museum, as a weekly supplement in the nationwide Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and in the book ‘Dutch Eyes, A critical history of photography in the Netherlands'(2007).