Marianne Theunissen is a visual artist who works with film, photography and drawings. The discrepancy between personal identity and the desire to be an undifferentiated part of the surrounding world can be summarised by the question: “Can I also be a table?” The result is an investigation of human adaptability, the physical resistance of objects and the conditions these two set each other. She also teaches at Amsterdam’s Rietveld Academy.
The videos present personal identity as an arena vacated by self; rather than personality, the environment determines events and what the image communicates. Often this environment is a cultivated place in which people have set rules. But also formal aspects of space can turn out to be crucial elements in the behaviour of the characters. The male/female relationship becomes the setting, a living sculpture cut loose from all moorings.
The photographic works are about linguistic signs, the awkwardness of finding the appropriate means of communication within an image or particular context, and the confusion between word, thing and person.
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