Emma van der Put
14 March - 31 May 2015
Emma van der Put ('s-Hertogenbosch, 1988) graduated from the AKV St. Joost in 2010 with Scenes uit een avond (Scenes from an Evening) as her final-exam project. At that point she was already working with 'ready-made sets'. Also in her subsequent films, she limits herself to recording that which happens at an existing location, without the use of set lighting or staging. Those places are chosen by her on the basis of a personal aversion. These are, for instance, popular festivals and fairs that she would never attend herself, were it not for the idea of using them in her work. In this way she investigates, through her video works, how she relates to situations that make her feel uneasy.
For one of her most recent videos, which came about during an artist-in-residence program at Wiels, she took her camera to the notorious Brussels train station Midi/Zuid. There she filmed the loud advertisements, hurried travellers, sleeping homeless people. A tag sprayed on a poster—the estranging words Rincé Alien (roughly translated: 'washed foreigner')—began to assume its own intrinsic relationship with the surrounding people.
Van der Put experiences Brussels as a caricatural city, not only because of its contrasts in terms of wealth and poverty but also due to the history that pervades it. This latter aspect inspired her to produce a second film: via a public webcam at the Grand-Place, she recorded 'De Ommegang', the re-enactment of a medieval procession. The grainy pixels, the jerky quality of the images, the sixteenth-century costumes and the use of black-and-white photography give us the sense of watching an age-old film.
Emma van der Put worked at De Ateliers in Amsterdam for two years (2010-2012), then as an artist in residence at Nucleo in Ghent (2013), at Lokaal 01 in Antwerp (2014) and for the past half year at WIELS in Brussels. In 2013 she was commissioned by Huis Marseille to produce various films and was nominated for the Lucas Prize (2010), the Gasunie Art Prize (2011) and the Volkskrant Visual Art Prize (2014). The works in the exhibition were realized with financial support of the Mondriaan Fund.