Freudenthal Verhagen X Scholten & Baijings

 

Toilet seats. High-end Pressalit toilet seats, illuminated by the celebrated Dutch design duo Scholten & Baijings that is, but Carmen Freudenthal and Elle Verhagen had never before projected their inimitable creative views on such a thing as sanitary ware. The result however, a 2,5 minute stop-motion film and four theme images to campaign the Pressalit by Scholten & Baijings collaboration called ‘Colour Blend’, figures gracefully in their portfolio.

Freudenthal/Verhagen’s unorthodox mixed media approach of creating fashion related imagery has earned them an international reputation among art buyers, curators and editors alike. From the very beginning when they started working together – on fashion productions for new generation titles such as i-D magazine, on lookbooks and catwalk presentations for fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm and on commercial images for Dutch advertising agency Kessels Kramer – the Amsterdam based duo have incorporated different art disciplines into their photography. Collage techniques, theatre settings, performance art, video art or even land art, you will find references to a wide scope of artistic influences next to that of fashion.

The ‘Colour Blend’ video for Pressalit takes you on a journey to the most inner and private spaces in four differently themed homes and lives, to a place where a perfectly matching toilet seat becomes the most natural visual element, and then beyond and on to the next. Like a never-ending peep show box the viewer’s eye is pulled in a straight central focus line and at a controlled constant speed through this magic 3D collage, which integrates Scholten & Baijings’ concept of merging colours using a fine regular dot pattern.

Freudenthal/Verhagen started incorporating video into their vocabulary in 2004 with a film installation called The Plate Spinner for Bernhard Wilhelm. This seven-minute film was part of a show in Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam.  An installation commissioned by fashion initiative Painted Series for Museum Paviljoens in Almere in 2008 showed the more complex use of film that has become their signature. Their Singing Girls installation (2010), which projects video onto photography, is currently on show at the MOTI in Breda, as part of the Couture Grafique show. Recent fashion and portrait photography productions include assignments by Dutch newspaper glossy NRC Lux, department store Bijenkorf and their specially commissioned contributions to the Blue Jeans exhibition in Centraal Museum Utrecht in the fall of 2012. The latter assignment earned them the ‘public’s favourite’ vote.

 

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