The research of Lisette Ros is complementary: towards society, unmasking how collective mechanisms work; conditioned by an understructure rooted in our basic, daily behavior, and most importantly towards herself.
While her performances always carry recognizable elevments, she analyses routines and questions conventions, daily rhythms and their self-evidence. She sees the consequences of socio cultural praxis that affect us, whilst the peculiar element to her work is that this all cannot exist apart from her persona. Her body is therefor the pivotal space of action, the battlefield where these types of questions are asked; her ground for exploration. Ros’ performances are marked by reiterations of the same gestures and acts, increasing the feelings of discomfort in the spectator. However, instead of using herself simply as a vessel, an instrument such as a canvas can be, Ros’ body is symbol and flesh at the same time. Standing naked as an iconographic emblem of general humanity, hers are the muscles, hers are the lungs, hers are the tired legs after writhing in the spasm of moving. It is her body that shapes the physical joint between herself and the world, and it is exactly there that the artists’ process of research manifests itself, as a quest towards collective mechanisms, and as a quest towards her own, fluid identity. Who is she, in the midst of it all? A hybrid form of existence, morphing between the fragmented categories of existing species.
This is the profound reason why Ros’ aching need of understanding has to pass through her body. Feelings are confronting, but at the same time introduce her with vulnerabilities, her flesh, her blood. She is bleeding, she is breathing, she is wondering.
The polaroids taken by Marieke Gras are fragile and tender testimonies of this – sometimes exhausting – search, as if the gaze of an outsider could help to disclose Ros’ persona, fixing her image on the shiny surface of the picture.
This dichotomy of research is what makes Ros’ practice unique. Successfully managing to combine the universal with the personal, in a way that is so candidly true, pure, and therefor necessarily physical: in this succession, not the other way around.
Lisette Ros (1991) is a performance artist from Amsterdam.
“Where does my conditioning end and where does my (our) autonomy begin?”
Lisette Ros’ conceptual art and durational performance works challenge the basic conventions and routine behavior that shape the core of human society. The starting point of Ros’ work always emerges for a confrontation with herself; a constant self-reflexivity that questions and challenges the normative values that she, as we all do, has internalized from society at large and manifests in physical impulses. In her durational performances, Ros dramatizes and aestheticizes the confrontation that she subjects her body and spirit to, sharing thus her critical findings with her audiences. Ros materializes her research into live performances, performance video art, audio works and installations, depending on the context and concept analyzed. Becoming aware of one’s body is a fundamental pillar in this respect.
-Text by Sara van Bussel