Sis Josip Galerie

  • 14/09/2023 • 15/10/2023

    Conference of Birds - Dimitri van der Werf

    “Conference of Birds is the first solo exhibition in an art gallery in the Netherlands to be realised with the help of artificial intelligence. Digital image maker Dimitri van der Werf presents over twenty large portraits that illustrate the complex relationship between man and bird.


    The bond between man and bird is an ancient theme in art history. In the Mauritshuis, Dimitri van der Werf was inspired by Hans Holbein’s portrait of a nobleman with a falcon. It is a realistic portrait: a falcon can be trained and domesticated. Van der Werf wanted to transcend reality into a virtual world where people bond with wild and untameable birds. Using artificial intelligence, he created double portraits that would be impossible to capture in real life, such as a priest with a pelican and an old lady with a griffon vulture. These birds are too shy or dangerous to be photographed in a studio. AI has also inspired him to create non-existent bird species.

    The exhibition presents a variety of relationships with birds. From bird lovers, who form an intimate bond with birds, to fashion victims, for whom a bird is nothing more than a fashion accessory.


    As a tool for creating images, artificial intelligence is not without controversy. You can’t call it art, some say. But Dimitri van der Werf has no qualms about hanging his portraits in a gallery: “During the rise of photography, there were also heated debates. Has photography the same artistic value as painting? A photographer can create a portrait with the press of a button, whereas a painter has to spend days behind an easel. We now regard photography as an art form. Framing a fragment of an existing reality requires a conscious choice by the photographer. AI images also require choices: the choice of the subject and the point of view with which you set the computer to work, and the final selection from a stream of images, comparable to the raw material from which a photographer draws after a photo shoot. The images also require extensive image processing and craftsmanship to print them properly. It seems only a matter of time before AI is widely accepted as a tool for image makers.”

About Sis Josip Galerie

Sis Josip GalerieHoogstraat 92513AN Den Haag NederlandPhone: 070 427 40 51Email: info@sisjosip.nlUrl:

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2513AN Den Haag