‘Despite its relatively small size, Amsterdam accommodates a multiplicity of cultures that mingle, while at the same time maintaining their separate identities. Coming from Peru, I see myself as a piece scattered within this cultural mosaic.’
In this project, Daniel Jacoby takes Amsterdam’s phone shops as a point of departure: the successors of the now-obsolete internet cafés. The congestion of made-in-China smartphone accessories displayed, together with their eye-catching decorations, render these shops into representative specimens of hybridisation in our globalised world.
In his sculptural practice, Jacoby combines elements from his childhood in Lima, Peru, with the visual references he has gathered during his adulthood in Europe; an ongoing exercise of fusing that echoes his mixed Peruvian-European background. Growing up in Lima, Daniel Jacoby was witness to a collective effort to imitate Western culture. Now living in Amsterdam, Jacoby is confronted with the society he used to look up to – and sees the cracks in a system that does not include everyone living in it. His work Saldo reflects on this and shows the creative expressions that people with different (cultural) backgrounds devise in order to fit in.
The phone shops he is focusing on in Saldo are often stamped with a big Lebara sponsor sign They serve as hubs for all sorts of third-party digital, transactional, and delivery services. The resourceful ways in which these merchants exploit their mostly narrow spaces has been an inspiration for the series of works exhibited.
Extracting visual elements from these establishments’ front windows and borrowing the format of the fashion collection, Jacoby made a series of ‘wearable shops’. By assembling a large number of the products sold in these stores into flat panels that can be attached to a person’s body, he created a cross-breed between sculpture and garment. Suspended somewhere between the boldness of DIY and the glamour of haute couture, these wearable sculptures are approachable and unpretentious, while at the same time eccentric and baroque. Functioning in conjunction with the body, these works also relate to how street vendors sometimes turn into walking sculptures.
Daniel Jacoby (Lima, Peru, 1985) is a multimedia artist based in Amsterdam. Jacoby graduated in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona and furthered his education at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. He is interested in the way individuals appropriate and reimagine mainstream culture and aesthetics, and his works are inspired by the originality and resourcefulness that can be found in places like market stalls or phone shop window displays.
This project is partially sponsored by