Kessels & Mailaender

Jump Trump

Erik Kessels and Thomas Mailaender created Jump Trump for Unseen Amsterdam.


Who wouldn’t jump on the face of the almighty president who separates migrant children from their parents and puts them in a cage? Erik Kessels (Holland) and Thomas Mailaender (France), two artists who work with the reappropriation of images, offer the cathartic chance to take revenge on the most influential man on Earth, even if only for a few ephemeral seconds. Jumping from a trampoline onto a mat that carries a giant portrait of Donald Trump, the viewer becomes part of an irreverent interactive installation. Kessels and Mailaender are used to working with a sense of the absurd, and they have created an atmosphere of fun and political criticism that is simply irresistible. This original work aims to confirm the idea that today it is no longer necessary to have a camera to be a photographer. In this case, the conceptual message rises above mere photographic creation and visitors are even given the chance to produce their own artistic images in a very unorthodox sort of studio.


Erik Kessels was born in Roermond in 1066 and lives and works in Amsterdam. He is a Dutch art-director, artist, curator and the co-founder of advertising agency KesselsKramer. He has presented numerous exhibitions at Centquatre-Paris, Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Victoria and Albert Museum or the Images Festival in Vevey. He has published many books covering a wide range of subjects, including the importance of failing, and most recently a mid-career retrospective entitled The Many Lives of Erik Kessels.

Thomas was born in Marseille, France, in 1979 and lives and works between Paris and Marseille. He is a multimedia artist and photographer. Known for his use of a wide range of techniques including ceramic, photography, collage and installation, he employs diverse materials and is a master of re-appropriating unclassifiable imagery in a completely new and often totally unexpected way. His work has been turning recently toward video and performance implicating himself as the main character