Elisabeth Tonnard

Exhibition Unboxing Photographs

I’m developing a new installation titled More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms. The work will be exhibited at the Kunstbibliothek, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, from February 16 to May 27 as part of the show ‘Unboxing Photographs: Work in the Photo Archive’.

More about this show below or follow this link. For those of you in Berlin: the opening will take place at the Kunstbibliothek on February 15.

More Than A Few Glimpses Of Its Charms consists of 18 different series of found used postcards in which each series is based on the same photograph. There are 18 different photographs but together nearly 100 different postcards in the installation. The cards in each series show slight visual differences; the color is changed by age or by variations/manipulations in the print runs, sometimes there are signs visible of how the card went through the mail system or was tacked to a wall. The photos are the same, the actual objects and the meaning they had for the senders and receivers are not. The installation is completed by texts in four languages drawn from the backs of the postcards.

About the exhibition ‘Unboxing Photographs’

The exhibition opens the boxes of four photo archives to showcase the material diversity of photographs as three-dimensional objects: from glass plate negatives, to 35 mm film, to prints on albumin or silver gelatin paper. These photo-objects are taken in the hand, tilted and turned over, labeled, cut down, framed, glued into albums, printed, and dispatched or posted online. Contact and inventory sheets, cardboard mounts, card catalogs, and today even display screens are integral parts of the photo-object, or even constitute it.


Window with cutout image
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut

Since the 19th century, archaeologists, ethnologists, and art historians have worked with photographs and assembled them in archives. There, they are processed and ordered – and only through such treatment do they become usable as documents for scholarly research. These procedures alter the physical properties of photographs and leave behind material traces. Photographs, hence, are neither objective nor timeless. By taking them seriously as objects, and not just as pictures, it becomes possible to tell their multifarious stories.

The exhibition interrogates the commonly practiced and disciplinary conventions that govern the perception and presentation of photographs – for example museum display using passepartouts – and tries out new design possibilities. Work with photo-objects is also central to the artistic interventions of JUTOJO, Ola Kolehmainen, Joachim Schmid, Elisabeth Tonnard, and Akram Zaatari, all of which have been integrated into the exhibition.


Vase with Corsini-Medici coat of arms
© Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut



Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

January 11, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Book fair at Paradiso in Amsterdam

On Sunday December 10 I’m participating in the Beurs van Bijzondere Uitgevers at Paradiso in Amsterdam. You’ll find the table that I am sharing with Wil van Iersel in the main room.

Books on the table will include De wolk, An Empty Field, The Plan, and The Death of the Poet.

Het balanseer will be at the fair as well, with Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal.

Weteringschans 6-8, Amsterdam

13.00 – 17.00

Admission is €3,-

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

December 7, 2017 at 3:53 pm

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De wolk


Another new book of mine was published. De wolk (‘the cloud’) is a literary and visual work in Dutch, based on the poetry of P.C. Boutens and published as #154 in the Slibreeks, by Den Boer/De Ruiter, Vlissingen, 2017. This post will continue in Dutch.

De wolk is een literair en visueel werk dat zich baseert op de poëzie van P.C. Boutens (1870 – 1943). Zo klein het is, verhoudt het boekje zich tot het hele lyrische oeuvre van Boutens waar het doorheen leest. Twaalf gedichten van Boutens zijn zo gecombineerd dat ze zelf (semi-automatisch) nieuwe gedichten hebben geschreven. Naar voren komt hoezeer het vroegere werk en het latere verwant zijn en met elkaar in dialoog staan. Het boekje is een wolk van tekst en witruimte, en is in verschillende richtingen te lezen, zowel van boven naar onder op de pagina als van links naar rechts en van rechts naar links over verschillende pagina’s heen. Er onstaat zo een multidimensionale ruimte van gelijktijdige lezingen; een nieuw werk tussen Boutens, mijzelf (ET) en de lezer in.

Deze publicatie is gerealiseerd als #154 in de Slibreeks en werd mede mogelijk gemaakt door een bijdrage van het Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie en De Drvkkery in Middelburg.

Uitgeverij Den Boer/De Ruiter, Vlissingen, 2017
ISBN 9789079875870
10.5 x 14.8 cm
52 pagina’s

Te koop via Boekhandel De Drvkkery en andere boekhandels à €8,50.

Een beperkt aantal  exemplaren zijn via mijn webshop bestelbaar à €12,50 en kunnen indien gewenst gesigneerd worden. Ik zal een aantal exemplaren bij me hebben op de Beurs voor bijzondere uitgevers die zondag 10 december in Paradiso plaatsvindt. Via email bestellen kan ook.



Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

December 6, 2017 at 8:51 pm

Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal


My poetry book published by het balanseer in Gent, Belgium, has been launched and is now available. This post will continue in Dutch.

Mijn poëziebundel Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal is verschenen bij het balanseer. Het boek is mijn Nederlandstalige poëziedebuut, na eerdere bibliofiele uitgaven. Het is vanaf nu te bestellen via de boekhandel of direct bij de uitgeverij. Het balanseer zal ook aanwezig zijn op de Beurs voor bijzondere uitgevers die zondag 10 december in Paradiso plaatsvindt. Ik heb daar zelf ook een tafel en zal nog over de beurs berichten.

Offset, 13,5 x 20,5 cm, 144 pagina’s.

De verkoopprijs is € 22,50.

ISBN: 978-90-79202-48-5.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

December 1, 2017 at 2:52 pm

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Presentation ‘Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal’


I am very happy to announce my forthcoming poetry book which will be published by het balanseer. More information will follow soon, the book is currently at the printer but the date of its presentation can already be shared. This post will continue in Dutch, which is the language of the book.

Eind november verschijnt mijn poëziebundel Voor het ideaal, lees de schaal bij het balanseer. Meer informatie volgt nog, het boek is momenteel bij de drukker. Het boek is mijn Nederlandstalige poëziedebuut, na eerdere bibliofiele uitgaven.

De presentatie is tijdens de viering van het 10-jarig bestaan van uitgeverij het balanseer, op 29 november vanaf 20.00 uur in het Gouvernement, Gouvernementstraat 7, 9000 Gent. Iedereen is welkom op deze avond. Klik hier voor meer informatie.

Het boek is na verschijning te bestellen via de boekhandel of direct bij het balanseer. Het bevat 144 pagina’s en de prijs is € 22,50.

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

November 14, 2017 at 12:48 pm

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The Art of Reading, from William Kentridge to Wikipedia


A Dialogue in Useful Phrases and its sound project will be on view in the exhibition The Art of Reading: From William Kentridge to Wikipedia. The exhibition is curated by House of the Book, a collaboration between Museum Meermanno and the National Library of the Netherlands. Over twenty installations, arranged as experimental areas, give visitors the opportunity to become acquainted with different aspects of reading.

The exhibition will run from November 18 to March 4, 2018. The opening will take place on November 17th, you can see the details of the Dutch invitation by clicking the image above.

If you rather read books at home, A Dialogue in Useful Phrases can be ordered with free shipping until November 17. Order by email or through this link.

A Dialogue in Useful Phrases

Artists/projects: Scott Blake, Hole Punch Flipbook #2 (US, 2014); Amaranth Borsuk & Brad Bouse, Between Page and Screen (US, 2012); Jan Dirk van der Burg, Tweetbundel (NL, 2015); Marinus van Dijke, Eye (NL, 2013); Paul Emmanuel, The Lost Men Project (ZA, 2006); Eyejack, Prosthetic Reality (AU, 2016); Juan Fontanive, Ornithology I (US, 2015); Carina Hesper, Like a Pearl in my Hand (NL, 2016); Mirabelle Jones, Asystole (US, 2017); William Kentridge, 2nd Hand Reading (ZA, 2014); Kraak & Smaak, Squeeze me (NL, 2004); Michael Mandiberg, Print Wikipedia (US, 2015); Didier Mutel, My way II (FR, 2014); Rick Myers, An Excavation, A Reading (GB, 2013); Heidi Neilson, Cloud Book Study (US, 2011); Orcam bril O.L.V.S. ; Joyce Overheul, De Drie Maanden uit het Leven van Rogier (NL, 2013); Sebastian Schmieg & Silvio Lorusso, 56 Broken Kindle Screens (DE, IT, 2012); Rebecca Sutherland, Hide & Eek (GB, 2013); Elisabeth Tonnard, A Dialogue in Useful Phrases (NL, 2010) and Simon Morris, The Royal Road to the Unconscious (GB, 2003)

Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

November 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm

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Doing Easy

Two small works of mine are currently on view in a wonderfully unique exhibition in a residence in Joshua Tree, in the High Desert of California. Curated by Erik Benjamins, Doing Easy is a domestic intervention that presents the work of visual artists, designers and writers who reflect on the sway of place.

Doing Easy optimistically engages with the domestic space as a privileged and underestimated sanctuary for reflection, education, production, and ritual. The presented works—ranging from a cork doorstop to a wooden chair to a folder of poems to a scented hand soap—have been installed in a way which allows them to slip into the daily routines and rhythms of a living, breathing home.

My autosummary poem ‘Eugene!’ based on Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward, Angel is placed on a bedside table. Real Estate Dreams. Nr. 1 The Candle, a small series of found real estate images is located on the kitchen wall.

Participants in the show: Alex Reed (US), Ashley Eden Kessler (US), David Horvitz (US), Elisabeth Tonnard (NL), Erik Benjamins (US), Janelle DolRayne (US), Jasper Morrison (UK), Lauren Godfrey (UK), Max Lamb (UK), Norma & Various Projects, Inc. (US), Pico Iyer (JP), Stef Halmos (US), Susan Barbour (US), Yeb Wiersma (NL).

Outpost Projects
Yucca Valley, CA
September 2, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Open by appointment

More info is available by clicking here.

The residence can also be rented through www.airbnb.com/rooms/5077433


Written by Elisabeth Tonnard

September 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm

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