Parts Unknown

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PARTS UNKNOWN

People trapped in their homes.
Subsumed by structures.
He retreats into his childhood room for 15 years.
A friend turned into a missing person.
My mother is left behind in a warzone.
Grieving her unborn.
Falling from the sky.
Cars lose their innocence.
A document signed with a fingerprint.
A body identified by a smile.
Would she still recognize her son?
Building a casket for a child.
Weighing heavy like a stone.

How can something absent be made visible? Parts Unknown is an online publication contemplating the ideas of missing and absence, featuring the work of 13 international artists.

The name Parts Unknown suggests an undetermined destination. In the context of forensics, it conjures images of unknown parts of bodies disfigured by acts of violence. A more liberating interpretation can be found in the work of the composer Richard Trythall, where parts are unknown not because they are missing, but so “fully integrated that it is impossible to subdivide into sections”. Parts go missing as they merge into a whole.

The stories in this collection testify to our common condition in the pandemic. We had to reinvent our artistic practices to adjust to the realities of being confined at home. In the online publication, you can toggle between views of each story, peering into the making of, the situations of our work and artistic experimentations.

This publication is part of the Master in Photography and Society at the KABK Royal Academy of in the Hague. The topic of missing was prompted by Creative Court, a Hague-based organisation working at the interface of art and global justice and built upon conversations with The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP).