Biography Anaïs López
Anaïs López (1981) is a visual artist based in Amsterdam, who works with still and moving images. She graduated from the Royal Art Academy in The Hague in 2006 and did a two year Masters at the Art Academy St.Joost in Breda researching narrative structures and documentary strategies.
Besides working for magazines as an independent photographer, she makes documentaries about things that matter to her. In her work she investigates how people live in the city. What fascinates her is how people try to find (or make) a place in an urban area. The main theme in her word concerns the makeability of the city. In her most recent project The Migrant she has gone one step further and investigated not just the makeability of the city, but of society as a whole. The Migrant isn’t just about how we relate ourselves to the city, but about how we deal with ‘the other’. The government of Singapore is trying to create an ideal city, but how desirable is that plan and who gets left out?
Anaïs López is a storyteller above all else. Her work reflects this. In her current practice, photography has become more and more a means to an end and not an end unto itself. She switches between micro and macro levels and tries to combine the image of the city with a personal story, thus building a bridge between the private and the public spheres. She often undertakes collaborations with experts from other disciplines, artists and others, if the story demands it. Her final presentation reflects these collaborations. She consciously chooses to step outside of the usual presentation forms and platforms to reach new and different audiences. The Migrant for example is a book, an interactive web documentary, a radio documentary and a live performance, where Anaïs López tells the story live to small audiences with a monumental book that contains photographs, golden silk screens, comics and two pop-up images of Mynah, the protagonist of the story of The Migrant.
2019 - Zilveren Camera award for Storytelling, 2018 - Golden Calf nomination, 2019 - Nomination Prix Pictet
Photo 01_ mynah walking with me.jpg
A small black bird with yellow legs, a prominent crest and a loud, raucous call: everyone in Singapore knows the Javan mynah. And many hate him. The Migrant’ tells the remarkable life story of a bird, but at the same time it addresses broader themes such as the complex relationship between humans and animals, the consequences of rapid urbanisation and the position of the unwanted outsider. Using audio, video, text and photography, Anaïs López takes you on a unique journey.
Photo 02_Singapore and Mynah.jpg
It was in 2012 in Singapore that Anaïs López first came across the Javan mynah, a small black bird with a yellow beak and legs, a prominent crest, and a loud, raucous call. The Migrant tells the turbulent life story of the Javan mynah. A member of the starling family, the bird is originally from Java (Indonesia) and was introduced in Singapore via the songbird trade in the early 20th century.
Following the Second World War, Singapore underwent rapid change, quickly transforming from a rubber trading post into a modern metropolis. In an effort to compete with the increasing urban noise, the mynah’s beautiful singing voice became a shrill screech. This did not fit the image of Singapore being a perfect city. The Straits Times, Singapore’s national newspaper, even described the mynah as “the new terrorist”.