The global relocation over the past half century of most manufacturing industries from North America and Europe to East Asia has resulted in massive layoffs and a rethinking of labor. It has also left factories empty and machines unused. This situation forms the impetus for a series of mixed-media works on paper by Willem Hamers titled “Decline of Industrialization.”
Modest, almost precious in scale, the forty-nine collagesare as regular in their square size as something mechanically produced by one of these machinesthat no longer has a blue-collar person running it. Against the photographic backdrop of endlessly ruined industrial spaces, Hamers producesvariations using materials such as acrylic binder, sand, foil and fragments of film. The effect is offurther ruination, but one that implicates bodies in its unique, handmade quality. Most notable, however, is the unromanticism of these collages.
—Lori Waxman 7/23/12 4:42 PM Documenta 13, Kassel.