Atlas Skin (2020)
Ivi van Keulen
Our traumatic memories can continue to haunt us, even, or especially, if we try to avoid them. The harder we push away the memory, the more the thoughts tend to intrude on our minds. During this performance, the visitor will be invited to share their trauma in one word. The visitor can write their own trauma upon the artists shoulders or may choose to write their trauma on a piece of paper and exchange this for the word of someone who preceded them. The act of writing and the words on the skin will be shared via a livestream. Via the comments section of the livestream, viewers will be invited to share their trauma in one word, which then will be added to the other words. This way the artist will literally carry other people’s burdens.
Eunoia (yoo-noy-uh) - Greek
(n.) a pure and well-balanced mind and good spirit.
Neuro-linguistic programming may be used as a method to help people process trauma and change their state of mind, mood and responses. The artist invites the visitor to participate in the writing of a mnemonic. The visitor will start with copying the mnemonic underneath the writing of the artist. I am not my trauma. My intent is to heal. My goal state is... This act is reminiscent of writing on a chalk board as a child, over and over again in order to repent for mischievous behaviour in class. The artist wants to make the visitor aware of the fact that sometimes a complex problem may be solved with a very simple act. The trick is to repeat the action until it sticks. The visitor will copy all the previous writing but is free to change their own goal state. Do you wish to be happy, fulfilled, strong, independent, whole, loving… the choice is yours. You have the power to change your state. You have the power to actually change your mind.
About Ivi van Keulen
In the universe of Ivi van Keulen (Oss, 1987), people are central. Stillness, emotion and message come together in her figurative work and performances. Themes such as objectification, freedom, power and ethnicity play a central role in Ivi’s oeuvre.
Besides drawings and paintings, Ivi also makes murals and performances. She studied at the Design Academy in Eindhoven (2011-2012) and at Academy AKV St. Joost in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (2012-2014). Her work has been exhibited in MU Hybrid Art House (Eindhoven) and the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), among others.