Saskia Burggraaf makes video (installation), performances and drawings. She is searching for ‘the alternative’ in society and is interested in the social rules or conventions in mass culture and the influence they have on the individual. She looks at how ‘the alternative’ reacts on those conventions and observes how they work, but also looks at how these conventions influence her art practice. She uses the theory of the philosopher Foucault about the ‘Heterotopia’, spaces that are created by the failure of society and apply different rules on social standards. Are conventions changeable? She researches these unwritten rules and who makes them by approaching ‘the artist’ as a role that can be staged or played. Her practice consists of different media, the form will follow the concept. Her performances and installations are often centered around the manipulation, registration and is directing her viewer, the audience, but also herself. She works primarily in Haarlem and The Hague and is part of The Holls Collective.
During the residency at Surface Arts + Rumpueng in Chiang Mai she produced a film; Value Added 2, a continuation of a previous film Value added.
Through objects and the personal stories behind them she tries to find out about a subculture or scene. Value Added #1 was made in her own town at a squatter initiative: Give Away Shop Haarlem. Value Added #2 was made in the art scene of Chiang Mai.
In Thailand she invited people to her studio to talk about objects with a special meaning to them, she collected the stories. She created an event to also encourage more participants to share stories with her and learn about her work through a presentation.
Through commercial looking (infomercial) images and voice over, these personal stories are told. The contrast between commercial (form) and alternative (content) makes the spectator wonder about what is true or not. The video is showing small elements of this alternative society, but also on a larger scale how personal value can change in different circumstances. The personal becomes political.