Jemima de Jonge

Artist Statement

The power of details

My installations and films combine paper or cardboard spaces with video projection and editing. In many, I play an active role as a performer or model.

We are drawn into miniature realities: a lonely woman living with plants, not people. A girl runs past windows as if time is on her heels. A woman eats so greedily that she chokes. The young woman who amplifies the sounds of the outside world by putting a cardboard cup on the wall. 

A small incident often triggers the unfolding of an entire inner world. Minute details and the work as a whole, then start to interact intimately. The perspectives and rhythms vary constantly. They blend into a dance that gives the visitor an almost cinematic experience, inviting to immerse completely into the work. The video projections are mounted in (cardboard) spaces such that they seamlessly continue onto the cardboard installation in the room. Video images, miniatures and the surrounding cardboard all merge.

Cardboard is a poor material that activates an almost naïve urge in me to make precise and clear-cut miniatures that are rich in details and expression. The cardboard also acts like a vulnerable body for both the miniatures and the large space. Like a shell for the fleeting stories. In the video images, repetition of a single gesture depicts the desperate desire that things will be different next time around. The interaction between physical space and images is shaky and ragged. The repetition makes layers more visible and tangible.

The boundaries between the digital and the tangible are blurring. When you look past the first solid impression, the entire installation looks very temporary and pliable. This perfect imperfection, the alienation and humour, all trigger emotions in the viewer, as (s)he is enclosed/enwrapped/sheathed by this body of cardboard.

The recurring playfulness in all my work is rooted in my need to escape both into the dark and into the light. Using strong images, I bring together the two opposites: a staircase represents both the beginning and the end.

My creations never aim to resolve the extremes. They need the spectator to make sense: are the stairs a departure or an arrival? What did you experience along the way? 

As a result, the work is always activating, never reactive.