My work can be summarized as follows:
- I work as a writer, journalist and visual artist.
- History and current events are my raw materials.
- I often involve people in my work in a direct way.
In my visual work these fields of play overlap. Working with people is essential to me. Maybe I’m afraid to produce dead things hanging on a wall. My work doesn’t start communicating after it’s finished; the process of making, in which others are often involved, is essential. The people participating become part of it.
I’m intrigued by the things participants add to an idea for which I only set the parameters. The way they shape it and change it. Francis Alÿs puts it this way, in a quote which became a motto to me: ‘Only by being repeated and passed through, the work will be realized. In this sense, art can never detach itself from myth. Moreover: in modern as well as in pre modern societies, art is moving in the space of myth.’
The first work I made at Gerrit Rietveld Academy, was ‘St Marc’. I cleaned the floor of a tram with St Marc, a cleaning product, while the tram was riding trough Amsterdam. This was a starting point for developing a synthesis between my journalistic, philosophical and artistic practice.
My graduation project at Gerrit Rietveld Academy was based on the case of Olaf H., a possible judicial error. Olaf H. is a truck driver, serving a life sentence since 2004 for a double murder and attempted murder. Philosopher Ton Derksen published a book about this case, in which he argues that the evidence against Olaf H. is very slim.
With five actors I reconstructed the murders, in two versions: ‘Olaf shoots’ and ‘Olaf hides’. To make the reconstructions, I built a set that matched the crime scene in terms of geography and sight lines. This resulted in a 4-channel video installation about (tunnel) vision, (re)construction and truth.
My current and future work is developing in this vein: to use simple actions to investigate the borders between past and present, the story I tell and the story that unfolds as soon as I start telling it, turning viewers, readers and listeners into accomplices.