Berend Strik includes new altered photographs and stitched three-dimensional architectural models. The images are chosen from photographs the artist has taken on his travels through Africa, documenting the people, architecture and post-colonial landscapes of the continent. By perforating them with a needle and thread, the two-dimensional quality of the image is disrupted, creating a work that is both tactile and conceptually driven. The embroidered photographs and collaged textures contain a nuanced layering of pattern, fabric and image that come together to explore the notion of the exotic.
'Strik's embroideries are a drastically mutated painting that has been completely infiltrated by the conditions of the generic, post-disciplinary visual art. It is irreparably improved, mutated almost beyond recognition,' said art critic Sven Lütticken.
Since 1987, Strik has been embroidering photographs, undermining the reproducibility of the image while returning it to a more autonomous form. The narrative of the photo is subsequently changed, and new layers and realities are presented. Through this process, Strik plays with historic atmospheres and art historical clichés and uses autobiographical details to express something he feels is universal.