Installation Art-Artistic Examples: Kossuth and Kessels

Joseph Kossuth

Fig 1. One and three Chairs. 1965

Following his studies in the arts at three institutes, Kossuth made a name for his work in which he used created word displays using neon lighting and still life representations.  For some of these installations, Kossuth placed neon lit text on walls; one installation features a walk through door with a neon lit border and luminous text lined on the surroundings walls.  Kossuth is also known for his contemporary pieces that use an object, a photographic representation of the object and a description of the object as a grouped set.  These pieces challenge the notion of still life being represented in only one art form as Kossuth three different methods of representation at the same time.  After successfully exhibiting his first solo exhibition at the museum of normal art, Kossuth went on to study further in philosophical research in the US.  Kossuth has exhibited internationally is now based in New York.

Kossuth’s still life object representations are particularly unusual as Kossuth helps the audience to realize what they are actually viewing from a literal perspective.  Kossuth presents to the viewer both the real thing and the representation of it.  This teases the viewer in a sense where it is obvious what the object is and yet there is still a form of description or photographic evidence available to us.  Kossuth almost presents his work like a visual dictionary and I find this effectively ambiguous as it leads us to question our understanding of the object.  I find I can relate this to my own creative practice as it gives a new perspective on how we can define things to others through different methods as some of us may take more meaning from one type of representation than another.


Erik Kessels

Fig 2. 24 Hours of Photos. 2011

Erik Kessels is a creative director based in Amsterdam where he works as the head of the KesselsKramer communications agency.  Kessels has curated various exhibitions internationally and takes an editorial role in magazine projects and book publications.  Kessels was awarded the Amsterdam prize of the Arts in 2010 and has worked with numerous artists including British photography icon Martin Parr.

One of Kessels’ projects named ‘24 Hours of Photos‘ which was featured in the ‘What’s Next exhibition (2011), explores the nature of photography itself in which Kessels identifies how internet users access images as an everyday activity.  The installation features large piles of printed images found over a 24 hour period.  The audience is encouraged to walk through and look at the images displayed.  The intention behind this project also follows the idea of how photographs of our own everyday lives are not as private as they used to be and Kessels presents these ‘private’ images for all to see.

I find Kessels, similarly to Joseph Kossuth, presents a representation of something as a literal thing and in this case, the photographs presented consume an entire interior space. I find this project shows just how overwhelming the digital photographic world is and display a powerful perspective on archival databases.  Kessels urges his audience to realize their own influence in photography as consumerists as Kessels describes the piece as a ‘sea’ where one can very well become physically engulfed by the endless amount of photos displayed.  I find this work very impressive in terms of how Kessels has taken a collective role which considers time, space and awareness of personal property.  I feel this relates to my own practice as my current conceptual ideas involve searching and choosing the suitable object representations as my subject matter.this gives me further ideas of how I can use multiple objects as an expanded installation.



Tate All rights reserved (1981) ‘Joseph Kossuth‘ [Online] Available from: (Accessed 11/03/2016)

PhotoBook Bristol (2016) ‘Erik Kessels‘ [Online] Availalable from: (Accessed 11/03/2016)

BBC All rights reserved (2011)’Artist Erik Kessels unveils 24 hour photo installation’ [Online] Available from: (11/03/2016)


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