SARA BLOKLAND AND ASMARA PELUPESSY
Curators and Co-Founders of UNFIXED Projects
UNFIXED Projects began with a shared interest in photography’s relationship to culture and heritage, characterized by some key similarities and differences in our own backgrounds. Both of us trace parts of our ancestry to former colonies, are children of migrants to the ‘West’ and identify with a juxtaposition of heritages, cultures, images and histories. However, the Dutch versus United States perspectives, language and sensitivities around culture and representation consistently came to the foreground in our meetings. Gradually these critical differences in the ways race, multiculturalism and cultural identity are constructed in Europe and the US began to reveal themselves as productive opportunities to develop broader and more flexible understandings about these issues. This unfixed view was also notable in contemporary artworks we were inspired by visually and intellectually. Our exchange and exploration of contemporary art and postcolonial, cultural and photographic theory continued and led to the development of the project UNFIXED.
Asmara Pelupessy (1981) is a producer, editor, researcher, writer and curator who has focused her work on issues of (cultural) identity and (photographic) representation. Born in the Netherlands with Dutch-Indonesian roots, Asmara was raised in the United States. She received her BA at University of California at Berkeley with a self-designed interdisciplinary major in the Social History of Photography. She has worked on projects with a range of concerns, including mixed race identity, young women and arts education, and has worked in such organizations as Kosmopolis, World Press Photo, NOOR, the International Museum of Women and Alternet.org. She received her MA in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden in 2010.
Sara Blokland (1969) is a visual artist and scholar born and raised in the Netherlands with Dutch-Surinam roots. She studied at the Gerrit Rietveld academy (BA) and graduated from the Sandberg institute (MFA). As a visual artist she is predominately working with video and photography. Her work reflects on the complicated role of photography in relation to personal histories. Her work is represented by the van Zoetendaal Gallery in the Netherlands and her New York based Gallery Lmakprojects. In the past ten years she has also been working as a (guest) lecturer in photography and has published several artist books. Additionally, she is a MA candidate in Photographic Studies at the University of Leiden and is currently writing her Master thesis.
STICHTING UNFIXED PROJECTS
(a non-profit organization) aims to create platforms for dialogue between photography, contemporary art and theory, developing and producing projects with a strong focus on cultural identity.
Project Assistant: Hester van Kranendonk
UNFIXED Project’s Supervisory Board:
Bas Vroege, founder and Director of Paradox, which develops projects around contemporary issues with documentary authors - photographers, filmmakers, visual artists, writers and researchers.
Nancy Jouwe, Director of Kosmopolis Utrecht, an organization with the mission make people curious about every story, history and culture, using the power of art and culture to connect people and develop new cultural expressions.
Andrea Stultiens, a photographer, teacher and researcher who makes, collects, looks at, thinks and writes about photographs.