(edited by) Karen Archey, Metahaven – PSYOP: An Anthology


Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam / ICA London / Koenig Books, ISBN-13: 978-3960983620, English, 200 pages, 2018, Germany

Metahaven (Vinca Kruk and Daniel van der Velden) has, over the years, almost literally ’augmented’ their trademark style of art made with a strong design and communication expertise, channelling through a rule-breaking rigour, their peculiar dystopic-pop propaganda. Their prolific production includes a few publications, easily reflecting their characteristic features, and this is one of them. It is a (large format) joined catalogue of their two concurrent exhibitions: “Metahaven:Earth” at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and “Version History” at the ICA in London. It helps to familiarise with their whole production, and “density” seems to be one of the emerging concepts, visually and conceptually pushing the viewer through intense, possibly revealing, momentum, with a quite perceivable trail of combined and contrasting feelings. Visually, this process is almost immediately traceable, but in this publication the different essays and interviews constitute the pure backbone of a constellation of correlated information, unrolling in a confrontational design. In both their static and cinematic works, Metahaven’s density is conveyed with recurrent propaganda and counter-propaganda accents, forming a tense narrative which is integral to their practice and feeds what they call an “epistemic uncertainty”.