Dutch photographer Ellen Kooi’s (b. 1962) theatrical images challenge assumed perceptions of the world and transform bleak landscapes into dramatic stories. Playing with the relationship between fantasy and reality, the works focus on a female protagonist in the natural environment. Shot in the Netherlands, the photographs often present a brooding sky and unsettled scenery in order to re ect the inner turmoil of the human subjects. Kooi’s background in documenting theatre and dance is evident in her central characters who are often in motion or seem pensive and thoughtful. This ability to add narrative to familiar scenery pulls the creations away from the everyday and plunges them into a magical environment where colours are increasingly vivid, shapes are all the more pronounced and nature takes on a wilder expression. Kooi’s work has been exhibited across the world with the most recent presentation, Solo, in France and Italy. www.ellenkooi.nl.
Isaac Julien’s Looking for Langston (1989 / 2017) is a landmark film that explores the private world of poet, social activist and columnist Langston Hughes.
Hammer Museum offers the vision of over 100 radical Latin American women artists, ranging from established figures to those whose output is largely unknown.