Grolsch Unseen Residency: Sofia Ayarzagoitia

by Unseen December 12 2017

Proposal sketch ©  Sofia Ayarzagoitia

With a common commitment to innovation and creativity – and a shared ambition to challenge conventions – Grolsch and Unseen joined forces in 2016 to launch an exciting new platform for emerging photographic talent.

The Grolsch Unseen Residency annually grants one artist with a scholarship to create new work relating to an unfamiliar urban context; that of a chosen European city. The next edition of the residency will take place in Stockholm, where the winner is supported by a local network of industry professionals, ranging from curators, gallerists and editors to publishers and fellow artists. The resulting project, with its unconventional approach to urban space, will be exhibited at the 2018 edition of Unseen Amsterdam.

Shortlisted Artist: Sofia Ayarzagoitia

Picking up the camera for the first time as a young child, and experimenting playfully ever since, Sofia Ayarzagoitia (b. 1987, Mexico) relies on a visible intimacy with those her images depict. In her photographic practice, Ayarzagoitia’s subjects are often more suitably described as friends, acquaintances, or in some instances, lovers. This year, her work was presented at Unseen Amsterdam by the Monterrey-based NEWWER, a gallery dedicated to promoting Latin-American contemporary photography.

Mbagne con watermelon, from the series Every Night Temo Ser la Dinner, 2015 © Sofia Ayarzagoitia:NEWWER_0.jpg

Mbagne con watermelon, from the series Every Night Temo Ser la Dinner, 2015 © Sofia Ayarzagoitia/Newwer

In her proposal, Ayarzagoitia outlines a wide range of ambitions for the residency, including a desire to capture the sense of global citizenship she expects to find in the Swedish capital:

“In Stockholm, I hope to create the material for a type of novel, joining photography, text, video and noise. I would like to use colour and black and white imagery, as well as different analogue material, such as infrared film and red Polaroids.

“I want to portray Sweden as a very developed city with its contrasting ups and downs, and I would like to capture their sense of global citizenship in a playful way. I want to follow a new person every day, entering their homes, offices, meetings and free time to play and perform. At the same time, I will create a fictional persona of a Russian Spy in Swedish territories. I will also be recording very organic sounds from the city, mostly in places where I can listen to many languages, but also the things that I find along the way. I want to study human behaviour in urban settings, but my focus will be both documentary and fictitious. I would like to experiment with bringing these approaches together, connecting them within the same narrative.”


Proposal sketch © Sofia Ayarzagoitia


Proposal sketch © Sofia Ayarzagoitia