A Woman’s Answer To Modernism

  • Under the name of Wild Beamen, Dutch artist Hester Scheurwater has projected images of herself on some post-war apartment blocks in Rotterdam.

    The work belongs to a series of projections on buildings of her own body. It’s an interesting woman’s attribution to a urban planning tradition ruled by men. The tender, soft and round characteristics of the woman body are in direct conflict with the straight modernist architecture. The projection makes the building sparkling as it did never before, as a contemporary ornament which discusses dullness.

    Moreover, these projections are pretty decent compared to other work of Hester Scheurwater, which mainly consist of stunning, dared and sultry pictures of herself, shot with hard light in a raw personal context. Her work mainly addresses the distinction between intimate feelings and public behavior. Therefore this work is interesting. It places Hester’s intimate work in a almost complete public setting.

    “Within my research I have several ways of exploring the boundaries between public and private. In the ‘Self-obsessed’ iPhone series I explore my own limitations and fantasy images. Everyday I upload an image to Facebook. In the context of this presentation in the public Facebook space, the exhibitionist nature of my images is enhanced by the environment, which is the converging of exhibitionism and voyeurism, in the living_room-to-living_room ‘upload’. Here I also encountered another part of the exploration, the limits of censorship and taboos.”

    On other public platforms her content is not always appreciated. The Facebook page on which her work was exposed was banned, and her videos on YouTube were blocked, both because of assumed pornographical content. Interesting is the question which is often put forward here: what works in contemporary cities? What makes neighborhoods liveable? How can art contribute to improvement of soft urban factors within a certain area? And how can this appeal to not only a narrow art scene, but the entire community? This project is an answer, although it might not be set up to achieve such a goal.