Netherlands Patron Circle

Hedwig Houben‘Imitator Being Made’, 2015

Outset Netherlands together with Outset England proudly supported Hedwig Houben’s presentation of Imitator Being Made at Lofoten International Arts Festival (LIAF), Disappearing Acts, in Norway in August 2015.

Imitator Being Made is a site-specific performance and installation. The foundation of the work is a scripted performance that features characters known as ‘The Made’, ‘The Being’ and ‘The Imitator’, which also appear in Houben’s installation in a sculptural form. A sculpture shows the three characters moulded in one head. Houben discusses ‘The Made’ and ‘The Being’ as characters defined by the conditional status of objects, while ’The Imitator’ suggestively represents the artistic agency and its limits, operating between the other characters and bestowing these with life.

In recent years Houben has developed a reputation as one of the most exciting young artists working in the Netherlands, but has had limited exposure in a broader European context. Her participation at LIAF meant that her work was seen by an international audience previously unfamiliar with her work. The support of Outset meant that she was able to fully maximise that opportunity.

Hedwig’s work for Disappearing Acts can be considered both as a particular response to the context of the Lofoten Islands and as a development of her ongoing interest in sculpture, performance, and the animisms of particular materials. Houben’s work Imitator Being Made developed from a script written by the artist that involves three interdependent characters, each with distinct powers of control and manipulation. These characters were also represented in sculptural form. Although the work was an indirect response to the landscape of the Lofoten Islands, it resonated with the shifting status of human agency in an environment of disempowered humanism; a concept that was central to our curatorial approach to Disappearing Acts overall.

Hedwig Houben’s Imitator Being Made – installation and performance – on display at Disappearing Acts, August 28 – September 27, 2015, Lofoten International Arts Festival 2015 curated by Matt Packer and Arne Skaug Olsen.

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