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Josephine Baan

Josephine Baan

Year of stay:2013

Peace, Love, and Death Metal \m/

The main objective of my work is to form an unexpected encounter with its viewer, be it taken as a funny joke, an irritant, an uncomfortable situation or a provocation of thought – I am looking for a reaction. Text and wordplay are a way for me to communicate directly with the viewer, though I like to retain a certain ambiguity in my use of language, allowing it to be read multiple ways. Peanutbutter Motherfucker.

The public space is an area of great interest to me, where art is not necessarily perceived as such, nor is its audience an appointed ‘art crowd’. Drawing from subcultures such as street art, punk and extreme metal culture, I use the implications of these transgressive movements and apply them in opposing formats, such as; renting a commercial billboard in Bulgaria; flyposting anonymously; in (video) performances; and within the tradition of painting. I find that an exciting confrontation emerges between the dichotomy of the deliberately antagonistic language of these subcultures and the arcane language of contemporary art. Equally inclusive as well as exclusive.

I am primarily concerned with the act of resistance, and the human capacity to subvert or transgress existing social and cultural norms. To point out what others fail to see, or simply try to ignore. Whether it’s a riot on a public square; a mosh pit at a death metal concert; a maggot under a stone or a grown man wearing a miniskirt: my work is influenced by the endless possibilities to rebel.