The theme for the ‘Proposal Municipal Art Acquisitions 2009’ for Amsterdam was decided by photographer Hans Aarsman, who called on artists and photographers to send in work that had not been created deliberately or for any artistic purpose. For some time now Aarsman has been investigating the beauty of incidental images, discarded snaps or photos whose charm lies in a degree of amateurishness. His aim is to take a fresh look at photography as a medium while avoiding the more obvious aesthetic judgements.
The exhibition that came out of this call for submissions led to much debate among the public and media about what is beautiful and ugly, and about the value of photography of this kind. Sabine Verschueren, an experienced magazine designer, has given the book accompanying the exhibition a character appropriate to the subject. The images are bleeds printed on uncoated, uninteresting paper, bringing their unconsidered nature nicely to the fore. The book is, as it were, the shoebox into which a pile of photos has been thrown. For the captions and information Verschueren chose small inserts whose placing gives the appearance of having been determined by chance.