Hard Copies. Stephan Keppel. 12 jne – 15 august 2021. Camera Austria. Graz – Austria

The exhibition Hard Copies will show a selection of photographs by the Dutch artist Stephan Keppel, from his four extensive series of city portraits. Also presented will be a small portrait-in-progress of the artist’s visual answers to his first encounter with Graz on the occasion of this exhibition. Keppel’s way of working is marked by intensive processes of walking, collecting, scanning, and printing (and rescanning and reprinting). Through his attention to detail in portraying structure and architecture and his awareness of the constant recycling of the built environment, Keppel’s images are devoid of the usual safe distance with which cities turn into cityscapes. Instead, as the artist and writer Adam Bell poignantly remarked, Keppel’s “repurposed images function as building blocks for [his] own metropolis, while also pointing to the regenerative and iterative process of both the built world and [his own] image making.” So far, Keppel has translated four cities into books, in close collaboration with the designer Hans Gremmen and Fw:Books: Reprinting the City (2011, Den Helder), Entre Entree (2014, Paris), Flat Finish (2017, New York), and Soft Copy Hard Copy (2021, Amsterdam).

Stephan Keppel (born 1973 in Anna Paulowna, NL) studied autonomous art (1994–98) at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (NL) and has since worked primarily with photographic and printmaking techniques. He has had his studio in Amsterdam (NL) since 2003. Last year he started a printmaking studio in his family’s former farmhouse in his hometown. The book projects Reprinting the City (Den Helder, 2012), Entre Entree (Paris, 2014), Flat Finish (New York, 2017), and Soft Copy Hard Copy (Amsterdam, 2021), all published by Fw:Books in Amsterdam, were acquired for various collections, for example the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Stads­archief Amsterdam, Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam (NL), the International Center for Architecture in New York (US), and the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal (CA). Recently Keppel won the Somfy Photography Award 2020 with an installation at the Nederlands Fotomuseum Rotterdam.