IRIS

VAN

DER

ZEE







Born 1993, The Netherlands. Graduated with a Bachelor in Arts (Photography) at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK), The Hague in 2016.

My interest lays in the human representation in sculpture and more specifically its changing perception through time, sociopolitical events and modern day popculture. My practice is characterized by a constant interaction between photography and sculpture. Photography enables me to turn a sculpture into a portrait, which makes a huge difference in the perceptual experience of the viewer. Photographic techniques prove to have sculptural qualities as well. By photographing the sculpture, I control the angle of view, crop, lighting, point of focus as well as the endless possibilities of digital manipulation. Rather than just capturing the sculpture, the medium of photography plays a role in creating the sculpture itself. Applying the rules of portrait photography to sculpture photography, gives me access to experiment with the borders of what we perceive as a human figure in the visual arts.

For further inquiries, e-mail me at studioirisvanderzee@outlook.com





2019
ONGOING PROJECT

ARCHETYPE


Statue menhirs are the tangible proof that people in the early days of civilization had an urge for their own representation. There is much uncertainty about what their precise function is. They could be war monuments or resemble fertility, but the chance that they're just an image of a beautiful woman is also very likely. A sculpture, preserved so well for such a long time is very precious within the history of our civilization. But is it righteous to count these stones to our intellectual and cultural heritage, while we might be looking at an image of the hottest girl in town?

For most millennials "Kim Kardashian Crying” will make them think of the meme with the same title. This meme, no matter how basic, belongs to the collective memory of my generation. Giving an anthropomorphic papermache shape the same title, enables me to make a modern menhir out of the crying Kim Kardashian. By placing this object next to two context-stripped images of menhirs, I shift 4000 years of history to the background to initiate a comparison between the two.

Why do we value the one as culture and the other as entertainment? And if we find modern entertainment so basic, is it right that we see a sculpture without a clear representation as intellectual, just because it has been around for 4000 years?


2019

ANTROPOMORPH


‘Antropomorph’ plays with the idea of antropomorphism: the human need to project human qualities to non-human entities. I used the subject of antropomorphism within a research on the possible role of photographic techniques within creating a sculpture.

By documenting the process of molding a human head in clay, the viewer joins the process of turning a piece of clay slowly into a form that we categorize as a human face. Once the face is finished, the deconstruction and reconstruction begins. First the face is abstracted, then combined into a collage with the same head in an earlier stage of the process. Every reproduction starts with a previous reproduction, until the imagery gets too abstract to be recognized as the originally intended image of the human figure.

The project challenges the idea of photography as a tool of reproduction by playing an active role in the making of a sculpture. The intention is not to document the sculpture, since the sculpture itself is not interesting to me as a maker. I am more interested in how the specific qualities of the medium of photography can be applied to the medium of sculpture.

There are certain rules when it comes to portrait photography, like the common use of a portrait lense, high diafragma, cropping of the buste, scale, etc. And then the portrayed subject: often a human being with 2 eyes, 2 ears, a nose, a mouth, a skin, a head and a neck. By using the rules of portrait photography while erasing some facial characteristics of the portrayed subject, I researched the border between an abstract shape that we still perceive as a human figure (antropomorph) and a totally abstract shape.

Because of the investigating character of the project, I show a big part of the process: from modeling the clay to deconstructing to reconstructing until the work becomes a reproduction without a recognizable source. All these steps were either witnessed or caused by photographic techniques. Therefor, the camera acts as a sculptural tool in this project. The sculptures’ purpose seems only justified once it is photographed and digitally edited. In this case, the reproduction proves to be the sculpture.



 

2019

PORTRAITS





On show and for sale at Nu Art & Design
2016

STATUE


The statue: A symbol of power, beauty and historic value. Although, those are the dogmas it was created with. Placing the sculpture in contexts of violence, the piece no longer represents its maker’s ideas, but seems to take on a life of its own. Getting beheaded by Isis; beat up by protestants, or burried after being cut in pieces in the outbacks of Berlin. Ages after the classical sculptor created his sculpture, I reconsidered its symbolic meaning in the context of today’s violent events by using photography, sculpture, found footage and digitally manipulated documentation.

Read the piece Brad Feuerhelm wrote about the project on American Suburb X
by clicking here




2018

PUPPETS