Vastum

L.A. Raeven (NL)

In Vastum, the artists' duo L.A. Raeven portray the fear of ageing and degeneration that pervades our society. The work shows a woman, actually still a girl of 11 years old,  with progeria—a disorder that causes premature ageing. As far as we know, there are only 45 people worldwide who suffer from this hereditary disorder. With the help of Mao Lin Liao from Replica, we gave this girl the movements of a laboratory rat. The viewer watches the girl through a tiny hole of a giant box and can hear and feel her banging against the walls of the box in which she is captured. (There is a sound and banging machine in the box). The viewer thinks he sees a real girl, but the girl doesn't exist in reality and is only a virtual human being. It is a scary image that is intended to scare the viewer. Vastum means ‘waste’ in Latin, and that is what this virtual human being is, waste from genetic experiments as described in the book from Yuval Noah Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. It is supposed to be a spectre of the future, where poor people are exploited for genetic research and the rich people have all the benefits. But what should be done with the underclass individuals who don't fit into this society anymore? We fear a future upper class of ‘perfect’ people who can buy intelligence and knowledge to stay young while the poor have to die young.

 

PREVIEW NOTE: It is important to note that the images in the preview show the installation view and the movie is what you see through the hole but the viewer can only see the center of the image and not the corners of the image, so the viewer does not see the sliding. This installation was in the Bonnefantenmuseum in 2020 in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

In Vastum, the artists' duo L.A. Raeven portray the fear of ageing and degeneration that pervades our society. The work shows a woman, actually still a girl of 11 years old,  with progeria—a disorder that causes premature ageing. As far as we know, there are only 45 people worldwide who suffer from this hereditary disorder. With the help of Mao Lin Liao from Replica, we gave this girl the movements of a laboratory rat. The viewer watches the girl through a tiny hole of a giant box and can hear and feel her banging against the walls of the box in which she is captured. (There is a sound and banging machine in the box). The viewer thinks he sees a real girl, but the girl doesn't exist in reality and is only a virtual human being. It is a scary image that is intended to scare the viewer. Vastum means ‘waste’ in Latin, and that is what this virtual human being is, waste from genetic experiments as described in the book from Yuval Noah Harari 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. It is supposed to be a spectre of the future, where poor people are exploited for genetic research and the rich people have all the benefits. But what should be done with the underclass individuals who don't fit into this society anymore? We fear a future upper class of ‘perfect’ people who can buy intelligence and knowledge to stay young while the poor have to die young.

 

PREVIEW NOTE: It is important to note that the images in the preview show the installation view and the movie is what you see through the hole but the viewer can only see the center of the image and not the corners of the image, so the viewer does not see the sliding. This installation was in the Bonnefantenmuseum in 2020 in Maastricht, the Netherlands.

www.laraeven.net/

With support from: Mondriaanfonds

Dutch artists Liesbeth and Angelique Raeven (*1971), alias L.A. Raeven (NL), do not go with the flow. They refuse to consume food thoughtlessly, they refuse to accept womanhood and the feminine roles society assigns to them, and they also refuse to be labeled as anorexic. Both are fascinated by the image of the body as promoted by the worlds of fashion and advertising, and they subvert this image in their works. Producing videos and performances under the name L.A. Raeven, these identical twins walk a dangerous tightrope hotly debated in the world of art. They always perform as a duo, celebrating their symbiotic relationship and playing with the notion of “evil twins.” Their performances can be painful, and yet they have to be accepted as valid forms of artistic expression. They work and live in Amsterdam and Bergen in the Netherlands.

Dutch artists Liesbeth and Angelique Raeven (*1971), alias L.A. Raeven (NL), do not go with the flow. They refuse to consume food thoughtlessly, they refuse to accept womanhood and the feminine roles society assigns to them, and they also refuse to be labeled as anorexic. Both are fascinated by the image of the body as promoted by the worlds of fashion and advertising, and they subvert this image in their works. Producing videos and performances under the name L.A. Raeven, these identical twins walk a dangerous tightrope hotly debated in the world of art. They always perform as a duo, celebrating their symbiotic relationship and playing with the notion of “evil twins.” Their performances can be painful, and yet they have to be accepted as valid forms of artistic expression. They work and live in Amsterdam and Bergen in the Netherlands.