The Age of Collage project started as a book, published in 2013 by german publishing house Gestalten and edited by the prolific artist Dennis Busch. The book encouraged Busch to put up two shows with some of the featured artists showcasing some of the most outstanding contemporary collage of the time. In 2016, Dennis has also edited the book´s sequell (The Age of Collage 2, also published by Gestalten ), and now, three years later, a new exhibition in Hamburg´s Feinkunst Krüger Gallery.
With this new show opening, we wanted to chat with Dennis to learn about his new endevour and about his work as curator and artist.
Why would you say we are now in The Age of Collage?
We live in a time where sampling, cutting and collaging is one of the main tools we have working -and all around. Music, culture, dressing, thinking, social networks… everything is, in my opinion, collage and sampling culture. This has opened the doors for a multi-dimensionality. Where are living in a moment of history where we can be almost anywhere. In a matter of seconds we can step into the past, explore the present and see the potential of different futures. We are somehow equipped with cosmical glue and cutters to arrange the future like we want. I feel that’s how collage is embedded in our present culture. And if we only focus in art, in paper collage, its a way of using your body as a tool for opening this doors.
Which is the vision of collage that you want to show in your exhibitions and books?
I want to show as many different approaches and visions of handmade collage as possible. It’s important to show different ways of working with this media. I’m aware I have a limited knowledge of what’s happening through-out the world with artists working with collage, but I´d like to show not only what I like the most or looks familiar to the stuff I would do or what its related with my way of approaching this media, but I try to portrait a diverse as possible amount of artists doing many different things with the same tools. Its not about what I might like, like sometimes happens is certain platforms that tend to focus in artists working with 50s or 60s imagery gathering similar work done by different artists. I try to make a selection as wide as I can.
What is the goal you’d like to achieve working on these projects (that take so much time and effort)?
I don’t think I have a final goal. I feel that as long as the wave is running, we all have to keep on surfing. This now is a good time to keep the stuff rolling and make this things happen.
After seeing so much collage during these last 10 years? Does the medium is saturated? Is it still relevant?
Collage is like a micro cosmos. And now the doors are open for so many interesting things existing together, and collage is a great way to channel this. Collage is a great way to express thoughts and ideas, but its not the only one. I don’t prefer collage over a painting, just because its collage. There’s good collage, and there are ways of working with collage that I really like. And there are artists that, using collage, need to say something interesting, and that’s when I like it. So, collage is in good shape and we don’t have to be worried about it disappearing, because now it is is such perfect synchrony with our times that it just makes sense in so many ways.
What people will be able to see in The Age of Collage 2 exhibition in Hamburg?
People will see 33 international contemporary collage artists in a great gallery (Feinkunst Krüger) it. This is definitely a great chance to see what collage looks nowadays.
The show features de work of: Fehmi Baumbach (D), Beni Bischoff (CH), Matthieu Bourel (D/F), Jono Boyle (UK), Martin Bronsema (D), Paul Burgess (UK), Dennis Busch (D), Julia Busch (D), Werner Büttner (D), Jorge Chamorro (D/ESP), Isabelle Cordemans (US), Eli Craven (US), Valero Doval (ESP), Dr.Me (UK), Lola Dupree (UK), James Gallagher (US), Sebastian Haslauer (D), Ashkan Honavar (NOR), Natalie Huth (D), Seb Jarnot (F), Philippe Jusforgues (F), Geoff J Kim (US), Max-O-Matic (ESP), Bill Noir (F), Bryan Olson (US), Kenny Runners (D), Magdalena Rysopp (D), Claudia Söchting (D), James Springall (UK,) Kerstin Stephan (D), Nil Ultra (US), Joe Webb (UK), Charles Wilkin (US).