What does it mean and entail to be
alive - a human being?
I'm obsessed with being alive.
Yet mostly, I live in a state of forgetfulness and interruption;
questioning how I could be living life differently,
in a more complex way and (worst of all) ''better and more efficiently''.
Questioning how much I can control the course of my life,
and how much others are influencing my life.
Looking for timeless truths and contemporary dogmas.
Thus, my art is a documentation of my development as a human being.
Very ''po-mo'' right? Being both the researcher as well as the subject...
Ever in a sickeningly romantic attempt, to reach the impossible goal, of being 'enlightened'.
And then, after yet another
ugly breakdown or surprise,
I finally escape the paradox through art.
- Only briefly -
And then, slightly transformed, I start all over again...
Working and living in Rotterdam (NL)
During her performances, Jessica investigates the contemporary but also timeless parameters for one to develop as a human being. Her fascination derives from being confronted with many disabled people throughout her childhood in her near environment.
As an artist, she commences herself as her own guinea pig, by not only testing her own mental and physical boundaries during her solitairy and interactive performances, but also by making the course of her life and the accumulation of all her personal actions in her daily life the final statement of her lifelong artistic investigation. Thus her artworks can be seen as pages from her personal diary, an overall attempt to turn life into the work of art itself (in Dutch she calls this: LevensKunst). She also shares many of her (sometimes embarrassingly honest and 'too-ugly-to-be-blog-worthy') details from her personal life on her personal blog and vlog called Arty Farty Life.
The affect, caused by the use of ritual settings and gestures, music and hypnotising smells, visuals (a.o. The Rite, 2017), but also just by causing an interaction, playing psychological tricks or by creating a still life within her performances (which evoke the viewer to reflect upon their own behaviour, thoughts and feelings), plays the key role in her aim to connect to all kinds of people through her performances.
At the age of 17, Jessica moved to Rotterdam to study fine-arts at the Willem de Kooning academy, and to start a pop-up gallery together with fellow students called Downw_arts (2008-2013), for which she coordinated and curated many exhibitions.
Starting her fine-arts studies as a painter, but quickly evolving towards making performance art. And in that way, integrating her love for and experience with theatre and music, for which she had been taking classes from 2005 - 2008 at Jongerentheater Quint and the Hofpleintheater LOT, into her fine-art performances. During her studies at the Willem de Kooning academy, she also took classes in philosophy from a.o. Henk Oosterling, Awee Prins and Jos de Mul at the Erasmus University, as the minor degree for her bachelor.
After graduating in 2012, she continued her studies at Codarts for her master's degree (2012-2014), in order to acquire more theatrical skills and knowlegde as a performer, yet again taking vocal, acting and singing classes. Here she wrote and published her book A Map to a World Called Performance Art as her final thesis.
In 2016 she was rewarded the Young Talent Grand by the Mondriaan Foundation.
2012 - 2014 Ma of Arts, Community arts (specialisation in performance art), Codarts, Rotterdam
2008 - 2012 Ba of Arts, fine-arts, Willem de Kooning academy, Rotterdam
2011 - 2012 Minor Philosophy, Erasmus University Rotterdam (as part of Ba fine-arts)
2002 - 2008 VWO, Emmauscollege, Rotterdam
2012 Masterclasses New Music Theatre, Codarts, Rotterdam
2007 - 2008 LOT course, preparatory training for theatre school, Hofpleintheater Rotterdam
2005 - 2008 Acting and singing classes at Jongerentheater Quint, SKVR and others
2016 - Mondriaanfonds
Werkbijdrage Jong Talent (Young Talent Grant)
2012 - Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude
2012 - Bekker la Bastide Fonds