All for Art

2018 | performance | 5 days / 60 hours | 3 x 4 x 6 meters

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allforart_jessicavandeursen
artrott





All For Art (february 2108), made for the Mondriaan Foundation's  exhibition Prospect & Concepts at Art Rotterdam. With many thanks to The Mondriaan Fund for their generous support.

For this five day long durational performance, I let myself be fixated to an infusion, and therefor to a hospital bed during the opening hours of the exhibition. I was fed by the exhibition attendants, according to a fixed scheme. I could not leave the bed for ten continues hours per day.

In total, more then 500 people sat down for a conversation. Some of those were short and somewhat superficial, while other people revealed quite a lot about themselves, and shared their sorrows, secrets, fears and happiness. And sometimes, we even shed some tears together.



 

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How this work came about
''It's October 2015 and I am staring out the window to the dull grey skies, whilst lying in an old fashioned hospital room. Waiting... for yet another nurse to come and take four vials of blood. And indeed, ten minutes later I'm watching how a new frowning face, vigorously tugs and pulls the infusion which, after having drawn over thirty prior vials, now refuses to do its job. I am not ill. At least, I don't think so...''


My participation to this well-paying medical research, is entirely voluntary. Right? Not long before, I had been informed that, after having carried out three years of exhausting catering work on a flex contract, I would not receive a permanent contract because my 'function' had become 'redundant'. Later I found out that I was replaced by a new, sixteen-year-old girl.





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I'm supposedly part of the generation called 'millenials'. Apparently, we are spending most of our days on social media. We are self-centered, lazy, pampered and easily upset and burned out...
But rather, I believe I am part of a generation of people, who have been told their entire lives that the key to success is to simply ''work hard enough'', as willpower inevitably will provide you with a well-paying job, and a pretty house with a white picket fence. And perhaps even, if you work really, really hard (what follows now seems to be the absolute pinnacle of success in this somewhat outdated 20th-century paradigm); you might become rich and famous! Then, all the world's money and the 'good things', will simply fall into your lap!





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The economic crisis lasted for roughly ten years. In this time, I have had around 41 flex/temp/parttime/fulltime jobs. At times, three simultatiously, while also trying to finish my studies. As jobs were scarce, it seemed not just to me, but also to my friends, classmates, peers, that we were standing still – for ten years. We were stuck without jobs or prospects. And after this dedace of humiliation by employers and/or the Employee Ensurance Agency (UWV, red.), all we were left with was a damaged sense of trust...

..After five days in this hospital, the nurse pulled the needle from my vein. With a fat stack of cash and a new sense of disgust about myself, it was time for me to go back home, alone...
Two months later, I was granted the Stipendium for Emerging Artists by the Mondriaan Fund (Werkbijdrage Jong Talent). And very soon after, I would be performing on Art Rotterdam, partaking in the Prospects & Concepts expo of this very same Mondriaan Fund. What to do? Back in late 2015, I could have only dreamt of such an event to happen... 





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In any case, I will be present at Art Rotterdam, Prospects & Concepts. You are invited to take place beside me at my hospital bed, on a wonderfully comfortable plastic folding chair. And you can tell me anything that you need to get off your chest. I will listen to you and be there for you. I won't be going anywere.



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