Amsterdam-based visual artist Sijben Rosa (they/them) makes objects and choreographs situations around them using performative means. Sijben’s objects seem to have a purpose, yet their practical functions – if they have them at all – remain unknown. This ambiguity creates an oasis amidst the structured efficiency of everyday life. The objects do not claim a purpose, rather they claim space for nothingness. And in doing so, they actually generate space – for thinking, for speaking, for simply existing without the need for justification, offering a void that’s ready to allow something new to emerge. Ultimately, Sijben aims for an artistic practice that deals with the social, economic, and aesthetic status of objects, contemplating the interplay between objecthood and personhood – a practice that essentially seeks to encourage awareness of one’s position amongst other subjects and other objects.
Sijben Rosa (1988, Alkmaar, NL) graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in 2012, winning the ‘Fine Arts Award’; the Fine Arts departmental prize for best graduation candidate. Since then they has undertaken several international residencies, and her work has been exhibited widely, including at Biquini Wax Mexico City, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, KW Berlin, Salt Istanbul, CAB Brussels, De Appel Amsterdam and SculptureCenter New York City. Sijben taught at various art academies in the Netherlands, including at the Rietveld Academie and KABK the Hague.
During her time at AiR351, they will be producing a new work titled ‘A little bit like the soul’. This combines sculpture, performative interaction and film, and explores how objects can serve to make abstract social and political concepts tangible, in this case gender inequality and dominant social norms surrounding parenthood. Even though the sculpture itself is inanimate, how we interact with it, interpret it and attach meaning to it, turns the object into a catalyst for human interaction and dialogue.