And I?

An art video created for the class ‘text and performance’ during my exchange with Central Saint Martins in London. Exhibited during Lacuna Art festival in Spain.

And I? is a video on a loop with its character trapped in a spiral; repeating over and over again the same story. 'I once met a man', but who or what he is, remains unknown. The same goes for what she gave in the end, or was it the beginning? The proverbial thread breaking again and again until nothing is certain of what she is trying to say. A woman lost in the notion of life passing by.

The text you hear is based on the story of musician Robert Johnson who, according to legend, on the crossroads sold his soul to the Devil in order to be the best guitarist of the world, selling his peace of immortality for something so superficial - yet - understandably desirable as ‘having enormous talent’ or, having granted your one wish. The use of the recurring word ‘piece’ in this text references this level of growing obscurity and insanity, going from writing a piece, to becoming a piece: ‘And I? I gave it’. The use of the digital voice is to distance the image of Van de Beek - the artist - to the “piece” she has become in this performance. Furthermore, it establishes artificiality with the written words.

The character of And I? is based on female stereotypes in pop culture that depicts troubled women. The woman that has a so-called, "sexy depression" and for whom the feeling of being lost and the need for a (male) guidance is preferable, or even desperately needed. The inspiration for these characters stems from the protagonist of the book, Bonjour Tristesse (Sagan) and the character Martha in the play: Who Is Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Albee).

The use of the milk cartons throughout the piece is used to symbolize both the feeling of ‘being lost’; referring to the practice of printing the posters of lost children on the side of the cartons in the 60s and 70s. As establishing a domestic symbol of female oppression and archetypes used in the beginning of the 20 century; women being kitchen-bound, having only to take care of the household, and, to make matter worse, sleeping with the milkman.