By Yasmijn Jarram

Scheltens & Abbenes, a designing duo, play with photography’s provocative possibilities for creating illusions. They meticulously arrange various objects (chairs, shirts, bottles of perfume) into compositions with a strongly two-dimensional or graphic quality. The result is an optical illusion: flat things become three-dimensional and vice versa. They do not present objects as everyday, marketable products, but manipulate them into building blocks for new compositions.

Essential to the work of Scheltens & Abbenes is the creative process in the studio where they construct their settings. It is an almost laboratory-like process, with the duo continually moving and adjusting items. They specifically opted to work in the field of both applied art and autonomous art, whereby each field serves as a culture medium for the other. A photograph’s autonomous artistic quality is always of foremost importance.