ONUS, 2023

Size: W: 100 cm x H: 180 cm x D: 60 cm
Material: Aluminium, Epoxy, Wax, Pigment + Digital photo print on paper

ONUS, 2023 + SOWER, 2023 as part of the group show HYPERTENSION23 at The National Gallery Prague, Trade Fair Palace, Czechia.

The advent of the internet dramatically changed the way of communication and the life of the queer community. Whereas before the internet era, transgender individuals were largely relegated to film and magazines as “readers” and “viewers”, which offered less active modes of engagement and selective information, the virtual environment has provided a sense of belonging for them. The internet has become a space with a caregiving structure facilitating the work with transgender identity for everyday survival in a heterosexist society. It is a place where one can turn at any time for comfort, encouragement, but also practical advice. Van Looveren’s focus is the dynamics of today’s online world, where two traditionally opposing areas – new technologies and intimacy – are increasingly intertwined. By working with their body, this non-binary artist subverts the taboos surrounding gender and sexuality. Soft materials such as silicone, epoxy and wax symbolize the difficult journey of their self-transformation. The object called ONUS resembles the surface of an abstracted self-portrait in which religious images, casts evoking liturgical objects and instruments of Christ’s passion are embedded. On top of that, the face is adorned by piercing jewelry. A mouth with a cu-out hole encourages one to kneel in front of the object and to look behind the sculpture. This kneeling is symbolic, since at the back the is framed by the Star of Bethlehem, known from the Gospel of Matthew, with whose help Three Kings came to Bethlehem to worship the newborn Christ. The silver face has a calm expression, showing determination and defiance. It is reminiscent of a relic of a biblical event, but also of the advent of the Reformation in its concept of intimacy and sexual experience in the internet environment. – Curator Monika Čejková

Thanks to Fotograf Festival Prague + With the support of Flanders State of the Arts.


SOWER, 2023

3 Hour Durational Performance