Centraal Museum Utrecht
In your face
The World Skin Color Project
Our planet is an unstable composition of complexions: through migration,
intermarriage, cosmetics, war, trains, planes, and automobiles, the ‘view from above’ of the earth’s skin tones is in a continuous state of evolution.
With the help of The World Fact Book, the pantone color system, data from Internet, interviews with dermatologists, research by cosmetic companies, thousands of images of people, and her intuition, Reineke Otten created the World Skin Color Project, a visual analysis translated into maps of skin colors as they appear throughout the world.
Based on color palettes created for all 231 countries worldwide, and using one dot to represent one percent of each country’s population, Reineke’s maps depict our changing world as a flux of skin tones. Light dots are visible through dark South Africa; faces and races mingle in Brazil; thousands of guest workers tint Dubai, while pale tourists sunbathe in the Bahamas. But like populations, these maps are ephemeral – snapshots of the world as it is composed today, poised to change in unexpected ways tomorrow . . .
The WSC Scarves
How can we start to understand the modifications of these skin tones? What factors and conditions determine the particular colors that make up each palette? Every country has its own composition of skin colors that is linked to its population, climate, economy, politics, and social practices.
The World Skin Colors scarves turn this (demographic) data into a visual language, and then into fashion. A program directed by Reineke Otten and applied by LUST designers translates these gathered statistics about migration, population density, temperature, UV radiation, GDP, and transport into a graphic code: the numerical grid of an Excel sheet becomes shape, color, and pattern in eight overlapping layers. Each layer represents a different factor influencing the composition of skin tones in a particular place.
Each of the 231 scarves is unique because each country generates its own data. The scarves reveal relationships, histories, and patterns of populations; they tell stories that you can fold, twist, drape, hang, or wear; stories to contemplate, discuss, or retell.
I create the conditions for these layers of information to interact visually. The beauty, for me, lies in the surprises — the unexpected ways in which these shapes and colors come together. -Reineke Otten
A small selection of scarves is now in production. In the future, scarves representing additional countries will also be available. Visit the web-shop to see these conversation pieces and choose one!
Special Edition in de Groene Amsterdammer.
About the exhibition In Your Face:
About recht voor zijn Raap. Stip 2010 en kunst nu. This summer, the Centraal Museum offers a platform to young and innovative artists. In collaboration with the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, the museum presents, between 19 June and 13 September 2010, the exhibition In your face. Stip 2010 and art now. For this presentation, the museum has selected visual artists, designers and architects from the new generation, who have received a starter stipend for their work from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture between 2006 and 2008.
Of the more than 350 artists who received a contribution from the Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, director Edwin Jacobs and all the curators of the Centraal Museum have made a selection. This way, the museum tries to present a broad view on what is going on in the art world at the moment. This has resulted in the fact that we can present the works of 31 promising young artists who have no fear in sharing their opinion about modern-day society with the public. Various disciplines and talents get together in this exhibition: design, architecture, photography, illustration, painting, and film. Despite all diversity, the nature of the works can be characterised as clear, direct and confronting: in your face.
Successful talent and new work
The exhibition In your face. Stip 2010 and art now presents not only up-and-coming talent, but also artists who were granted a stipend and who have developed themselves and become successful since then. In 2008, Christien Meindertsma won a Dutch Design Award for best design with PIG 05049. Illustrator Gijs Huijgen and fashion designer Iris van Herpen were awarded the same prize in 2009 for their work in the categories best illustration and best product fashion, jewellery & accessory. In addition to this, several artists will, especially for this exhibiton, create new works. Sjocosjon, for example, will create a wall painting of 2x3 metres in one of the exhibition rooms and Idan Hayosh will set up a spectacular lighting installation in CM Studio. The work of the artists is not only limited to the works on display at the exhibition, but it also includes the design of the exhibition. Marc Koehler is responsible for the layout of the exhibition. Designers Alfons Hooikaas and Felix Weigand are responsible for the two-part catalogue.
Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture is a national institute which makes it possible for visual artists, designers, architects and intermediaries to develop their work in many ways. A starter stipend is a subsidy meant to let beginning artistst focus on the artistic and professional development of their work. A two-part catalogue about the exhibition will be published. One part of the catalogue will feature the work of the artists that have been selected for In your face. Stip 2010 and art now The other part encloses the works of all artists (368) who were given a starter stipend between 2006-2008.
Made possible with the help of FondsBKVB