Anne Geene — Grasses
Grasses by Anne Geene is an eulogy on grasses in all their appearances. With this herbagraphic work, Geene continues building an oeuvre that is an expression of the remarkable beauty of the unremarkable. Congruent with the general line of her artistic practice focused on counting, measuring, and creating inventories of nature, the Grasses series brings an ode to this undervalued but widely cultivated groundcover. In Anne Geene’s work, the photograph itself is rarely the focus — taken out of their context the pictures are often no more than a registration of an inconspicuous fact. It is the focus on the unremarkable in nature that distinguishes Geene’s approach: be it leaves eaten by insects, the colour gradations within one tree, or stones arranged by size as shown in her solo exhibition at the Kröller-Müller Museum.
Grasses address humanity’s selective fascination with certain species over others. Some are considered weeds and removed by force, which stands in contrast to the meticulous care often lavished upon other plant species. One of the projects shown at the exhibition is a series of cyanotypes Amsterdam Grasses — handpicked street grass from every street in Amsterdam Centrum, which adds up to almost 700 streets. The first part of this project, Groningen Grass, is acquired by The Groninger Museum (NL, 2023). Next to that, Anne Geene will present the recent developments in her Eeuwig Herbarium series, celebrating grasses.
Most recent presentations of Anne Geene include a.o. The Rijksmuseum, the Kröller-Müller Museum, Het Nederlands Fotomuseum (the Gallery of Honour of Dutch Photography), NEST, h3h biënnale. Past exhibitions include a.o. Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Centquatre-Paris, Museum Jan Cunen. Anne Geene’s work is in the collections at a.o. The Rijksmuseum, Het Nederlands Fotomuseum, The Kröller-Müller Museum, Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Van Gogh House, ING, LUMC, KPMG, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science & Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Anne Geene with Arjan de Nooy — The Great Moon Hoax
This project is inspired by the English polymath John Herschel (1792-1871). In his days, he was involved in a famous hoax regarding the supposed discovery of life on the Moon (Geene & De Nooy often use fictitious stories in their own work). The ‘observations’ were published in 1835 in The Sun, and were falsely (but humoristically) attributed to Herschel to give credibility to the articles. The story introduces all kinds of non-existing animals or animals with non-existing behaviour like unicorns and temple-building beavers. Using DALL-E, a chatbot that can be instructed to produce fictitious ‘photographs’, Geene and De Nooy made a reconstruction of the story.
With their pseudo-scientific work as an artist duo, Anne Geene (1983, NL) and Arjan de Nooy (1965, NL) show the audience a new, often humorous way of the world. Together they made the publication Ornithology, an alternative bird bible with the Best Book Design from all over the world — the third edition of the book is available now. Their new book, Dictionary, will be released during UNSEEN 2023 with Blind Finch Books. Past presentations of Anne Geene with Arjan de Nooy include a.o. Kunstmuseum Den Haag, Het Natuurhistorisch Rotterdam, Het Nederlands Fotomuseum, Centquatre-Paris (FR), The Peale Centre (US).