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Takeover: #142 Anna de Vriend

︎ by Anne Schoemaker
Anna de Vriend: Instagram / Website

#142 (14/12 - 20/12 2020) written by Anisa Demirci and Cheyenne Pattiwaël

Anna de Vriend is a fresh 2020 graduate BEAR ArtEZ. Her art centers around hierarchies and friction points between human and non-human animals. She researches our dualistic, patriarchal and colonial thinking which are so deeply imbued in us and our society.

“It's in me, in where I live and how I grew up. Through creating art I can examine this, question it and deconstruct the ways in which I think and talk. If I do that for myself, it is also easier to include others in this process. I hope they will join me in this journey.”

As Anna explained, language as a construct is one of the systems in which hierarchies are continued, setting us human animals apart from non-human animals. Because we actually belong to the same category, animals, Anna tries to break through the hierarchy in language. Our society has a very intense relationship with non-human animals, such as livestock farms. In this system and structure we hold a position of power.

“It is not so much about the individuals, it is rather about the larger systems it addresses. It's easy not to bother with this. It is uncomfortable to do so. Therefore, my art challenges a sense of responsibility.”

By focusing on a case study within these seemingly invisible structures and systems, they become detectable and tangible. You can clearly see the consequences of how they influence the world. Her works are immersive, often installations with performances, audio and video elements. When the viewers - or perhaps we should call them participants - enter a certain space that Anna created, these elements suck them in. She wants them to take what they saw and felt in there into the outside world, the ‘real world’, again.

“These elements and systems are very real, even outside in the world. I hope they can take that with them. It has a great urgency to me. Because it has such an immense effect, and is hardly visible and not taken seriously enough. ”

By including theatrical elements, in terms of strategies, images and aesthetics, she strives to transform these uncomfortable topics into something that people can engage with. This theatricality stimulates people’s own fantasy, narratives and stories.

Deconstruct, detect, reflect, engage, address.

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