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Takeover #186 Simon Keizer 

Simon Keizer: Instagram / Website

#186 (22/11 - 26/11, 2021) written by Sophie Heutink / edit by Robin Speijer / interview by Joris Broekhoven

Chaotic, primitive and ritualistic. These are some keywords for artist Simon Keizer, who graduated from Rietveld Expanded Painting in 2019. With an interest in history, the human body (and everything it excretes), Simon maps out his world by creating installations through iconic objects, absurd titles and references to myths. Accompanying these installations, he also creates performances.

“I absolutely hate doing performances, it scares the shit out of me. Somehow, I end up making and doing them anyway because of the challenge, and the fact that it brings me and the viewers closer to the best representation of the work.”

At the start of his process, Simon dives into literature and (history) books. His research and making process inform one another. A work can derive from a single word from a book, or the research can be ignited by a material or form. Additionally, he has an interest in social matters such as football, cafes and carnivalesque situations, which is noticeable in his installations. His works appear to be two-layered: installations and performance go hand in hand.

“It’s quite a beneficial combination for me; performance gives me freedom and less pressure from the art-world regarding selling work. However, it lacks the focus that I can get from making installations. Installations are safe and concrete with iconic objects, therefore a good host for my performances.”

Simon would describe his work as a ‘tool’ to get rid of a so-called curtain within the spectators. His installations are made with commonly used materials such as liquid latex, polystyrene and epoxy. In his performances he engages with collective memory, mass production and his interest in groups. He likes to use everyday subjects combined with humor. It usually involves an individual in search of connection with a group.

“I like to play with expectations that won’t come true. Humor and recognition are great elements to engage with others.”

During the Rizoom takeover Simon will show previous works, the process of making and open up his studio so we can see what he’s up to at this very moment.

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