Mella Jaarsma

My works are bodily modifications of the social space in between the layers of skin, clothing,

sartorial inhibition and architecture. Through my work, I question origin and deconstruct

identities by producing renewable identities, seeing identity as a transient invention. We are

like impermanent buildings with a façade from which the inside is changeable. The second skin

that we are wearing is like a house in which we can appear and hide; we have to be ready to

leave or inhabit it.

 

Everyone who confronts my work is coming at it from different backgrounds and cultures,

dealing with highly personal sets of taboos and therefore experiencing the work in different

ways. I want my work to relate to these specific audiences, to deal with some of their taboos

and interpretations. This takes great sensitivity, and therefore I try to find ways to open up

dialogue, rather than work in a more confrontational way.

 

I question my own existence in the hybrid feudal society in Java, where every day I have to deal with the stereotyped roles of a foreigner as post-colonialist and explorer. My work is also about positioning “the native” and “the ethnic” and the acknowledgement that these groups could be reversed, depending on their surroundings.

My works are bodily modifications of the social space in between the layers of skin, clothing,
sartorial inhibition and architecture. Through my work, I question origin and deconstruct
identities by producing renewable identities, seeing identity as a transient invention. We are
like impermanent buildings with a façade from which the inside is changeable. The second skin
that we are wearing is like a house in which we can appear and hide; we have to be ready to
leave or inhabit it.
Everyone who confronts my work is coming at it from different backgrounds and cultures,
dealing with highly personal sets of taboos and therefore experiencing the work in different
ways. I want my work to relate to these specific audiences, to deal with some of their taboos
and interpretations. This takes great sensitivity, and therefore I try to find ways to open up
dialogue, rather than work in a more confrontational way.
I question my own existence in the hybrid feudal society in Java, where every day I have to deal
with the stereotyped roles of a foreigner as post-colonialist and explorer. My work is also about
positioning “the native” and “the ethnic” and the acknowledgement that these groups could be
reversed, depending on their surroundings.

 

 

Age:
57
Birth place:
Netherlands
Based in:
Yogyakarta
Website:
http://www.mellajaarsma.com

Past exhibitions