PUCK VERKADE (HOLLAND)
The common thread in Verkade’s work is marked by exploring how human beings give meaning to life in order to survive. Verkade approaches and questions certain socio-psychological situations from a personal point of view. This working process often results in audiovisual projects characterized by an investigative documentary method. Verkade is drawn to subjects that deal with the human psychological condition, the way we construct our identity through belief-systems and it’s position within society. Verkade often uses disorientation in order to expose the friction of a challenging subject.
During the residency Verkade immersed herself in an unknown situation in order to research and gather material for her latest project ‘Losing Presence’- an exploration of the concept of death, using her own mothers death as a starting point.
Verkade uses her own vulnerability as a tool to get to the core of the subject from an insider’s perspective. Whilst in Chiang Mai she set about researching what death means here, through the Buddhist backgrounds, visiting temples and gaining teachings from monks and also from personal experiences of the people living she met here. The exploration and investigative process becomes visible in the work and reveals dialogues and personal doubts in a very direct manner. Verkade works following a system of observing, infiltrating, communicating and finally manipulating to create a work that should be unnerving and luring at the same time.
As well as her encounters and meetings with various artists, local community, monks and fortune tellers she also led an event at Rumpueng called ‘Transcendental Bar’. This was an evening of blue screen filming where an audience was invited to participate and individually share their experiences of death and afterlife, non-verbally, on camera.