Ornis A. Gallery proudly presents Dutch artist Tanja Ritterbex (1985). In this solo
exhibition, her recently-made video ‘How to steal a dirty million’ – which is on display for
the first time – will be shown, as well as a piece of sculpture, several paintings and works
on paper. A crucial feature concerning this exhibition will be the direct involvement of the
viewer in the video work. This participation will be live streamed and projected in the
same exhibition space.
Ritterbex creates disturbing and endlessly fascinating surroundings. There is always a
personal touch to be found in her work, capturing the world around her in a somewhat
exhibitionist, provocative manner. She takes her own personal experiences as a starting
point for her creative projects, thereby defining her work as an absurdist artistic diary.
The construction of women’s identity image plays a central role in her oeuvre. She treats
her fictional subjects (which often implies treating herself, for she often plays in her own
short movies) with a good sense of humour. This even implies that Ritterbex does not shy
away from a slight touch of self-mockery.
Ritterbex seems to constantly challenge the boundaries of traditional artistic
representation, making us thereby seriously question the distinction between the realities
of art and life in a playful, though critical way. One could argue that Ritterbex steadily
deconstructs her own identity by transparently exploring its semi-fictional or constructed
character in the works of art she produces. What makes her work so fascinating is the
way in which she shows that there is constantly the basic need for this ‘other’ (the Tanja
in her own movies) to construct one’s own artistic identity. This is, we could state, a
perfect example of the creation of the image of ‘the self’ (in contemporary culture) as a
crucial starting point for artistic expression.
Ritterbex certainly succeeds in strikingly confronting the viewer with the chaotic overflow
of imagery, with which we are confronted everyday, all day. In addition to this, she aims at
transforming quasi-familiar features of daily scenes into otherworldly, partly alienated
artistic narratives, using different media for this purpose. Do not be fooled by the
semi-naive, almost excessively aesthetic first-look-appearance of her work. This
standoffish outlook is misleading, for there is always a more profound tale that is being
told through the deeper layers of her paint and in the darker backrooms of the colourful
diorama-like sceneries of her videos.
Tanja Ritterbex (The Netherlands, 1985) lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
She studies at Academie Beeldende Kunst (Maastricht), Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and
De Ateliers (Amsterdam). Recently, her work has been shown at Showroom Mama, Rotterdam
(2015), Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht (2015, 2013), W139, Amsterdam (2014)
and CFA-Berlin (2014). She will be an artist in residence at Bronner in Tel Aviv (2016).