Erik Kessels

Academy of Architecture 2007-2008

For the winter­workshop, which is part of the Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Masters course at the Academy of Architecture, Erik Kessels joined with international students and guest professors in a search for the wellspring of professional art practice: amateurism. Kessels believes that students rarely have time to look beyond the well­ defined limits of their own field, or to set aside the perfect tools they have at hand to achieve a speedy end result within their specialism. ‘Don’t misunderstand me, craftsmanship is of great importance, but only through enriching it with intuition can greater talent emerge.’

Erik Kessels invited artists to contribute to the topical Capita Selecta lecture series, or to work on an exhibition of eight amateur arts (music, visual arts, architecture, illustration, photography and film, fashion, design and typography).

All of them are influenced by the handmade, the everyday, and are unafraid of excursions into disciplines other than their own.

‘Think of it as a front garden that’s perfectly ordered, and a back garden that’s a wasteland. It’s in the back garden that you develop ideas and find your inspiration; here are the roots of your creativity. Amateurism is the perfect environment for allowing it to grow and blossom. Often, amateurs are driven by great passion; professionals are often cultivated in their approach, forcing passion to take a back seat.’

About Erik Kessels
Erik Kessels Erik Kessels is co­founder and creative director of KesselsKramer communications agency, which gained international renown with its campaigns for Ben mobile telephony, Diesel, MTV, Nike, Hans Brinker Budget Hotel and others. Various books have been published of Erik Kessels’ photographic work, including  The Instant Men (2000), Wonder (2006) and  the series In Almost Every Picture (2001– 2008). He frequently curates exhibitions in the Netherlands and abroad, and has co­published Useful Photography magazine since 2000.