What does it mean and entail to be
alive - a human being?
I'm obsessed with being alive.
Yet mostly, I live in a state of forgetfulness and interruption;
questioning how I could be living life differently,
in a more complex way and (worst of all) ''better and more efficiently''.
Questioning how much I can control the course of my life,
and how much others are influencing my life.
Looking for timeless truths and contemporary dogmas.
Thus, my art is a documentation of my development as a human being.
Very ''po-mo'' right? Being both the researcher as well as the subject...
Ever in a sickeningly romantic attempt,
to reach the impossible goal, of being 'enlightened'.
And then, after yet another
ugly breakdown or surprise,
I finally escape the paradox through art.
- Only briefly -
And then, slightly transformed, I start all over again...
Working and living in Rotterdam (NL)
Stijn Huijts (director of the Bonnefanten Museum):
''Jessica van Deursen is an performance artist, who pushes the boundaries of the common fine-arts practice. Not only does she challenge the borders between her art and her personal life, she also challenges her own mental and physical limits. While questioning to what extend she can control the course of her life, and to what extend others are influencing her, and which role art can play in this investigation.
Van Deursen sees her art as a documentation of her development as a human being. During her performances, she confronts her audience with ritual or interactive happenings, through which she wants to stimulate her audience to become more aware of their own behaviour, thoughts and feelings.''
Although her work could be read as a personal diary, its themes have become more political and socialy engaged since graduating. Firstly, this was expressed in her autonomous projects. But since 2018, she initiated the interdisciplinairy collective Alter Moderna, for which she's the art director, music composer and one of it's performers. Together they bring to live a alter modern and -all black and white- world, in which they lay bare criticical parallels between ancient, contemporary and maybe also futurist -but always all so human- repeating and self-defeating believes and traditions. Pointed out through music, video, performance and sculpture.
In 2016 she was rewarded the Young Talent Grand by the Mondriaan Foundation for her work.
Forthcoming and recent previous solo/duo exhibitions include Art Rotterdam (NL) | Palazzo del Mora, Venice (IT) | Pictura, Dordrecht (NL) | KIPAF, Kolkata (IN) | Concordia, Enschede (NL) | Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (NL) | pAIR, Kumasi (GH) | Root Gallery, Rotterdam (NL) | Pulchri studios, The Hague (NL) | Defibrilator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago (US) | Goethe Institut, Rotterdam (NL) | Stedelijk Museum Breda (NL) | This Art Fair, Amsterdam (NL)
2012 - 2014 Ma of Arts, Community arts (specialisation in performance art), Codarts, Rotterdam
2008 - 2012 Ba of Arts, fine-arts, Willem de Kooning academy, Rotterdam
2011 - 2012 Minor Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam (as part of Ba fine-arts)
2002 - 2008 VWO, Emmauscollege, Rotterdam
2020 Masterclass performance art, Venice International Performance Art Week,
Led by Andrigo/Aliprandi, Vest&Page and La Pocha Nostra
2012 Masterclasses New Music Theatre, Codarts, Rotterdam
Led by Micha Hamel and Arlon Luijten
2007 - 2008 LOT course, preparatory training for theatre school, Hofpleintheater Rotterdam
Led by Romana Vrede
2005 - 2008 Acting and singing classes at Jongerentheater Quint, SKVR and others
2019, Stichting Stokroos
2018, IBB CBK Rotterdam
2017, Snelloket, Gemeente Rotterdam
2016 - Mondriaan Foundation, Werkbijdrage Jong Talent (Young Talent Grant)
2012 - Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude Scolarship
2012 - Bekker la Bastide Fonds Scolarship