From 5 June - 5 July Dutch artist Sabine de Graaf (b.1993) shows her absurdist and appealing works at SEA Foundation. The exhibition is open 24/7. Sabine de Graaf operates in various mediums ranging from videos, sculptures, and installations. Her works are not tied to one subject, on the contrary, they reflect the artist’s observation of the real world and respond to it in a playful and absurdist way. The moment of surprise, nonsense, and humour are lifted by making use of the language of digital culture, video gaming, and marketing strategies. She is the first artist to present work in WARP, the curated program showing artists in the vitrine of the SEA Foundation.
Gaming and Marketing strategies
Visual attributes of gaming and the marketing tactics of the game scene are not usually expected in the museums and art galleries. Discussions often arise whether it is the art, or it is not. Weird gifs, oversaturated images and silly videos are hiding the second layer for those who are prepared to excavate it. One of Sabine de Graaf’s latest works called "I own all these sealed blind bags and unopened collectors boxes and you don't" (2019) presents the artist as a superior person or model, proud of her collection of toys. Although the toys are not visible the fact that they are kept in their original intact boxes, raises their value. From the absurdist point of view, the search for value is meaningless. Sabine de Graaf likes to point out how absurd marketing communication in the millennial culture is and how much consumers can be fooled. At the same time, she stays a part of this very same community and spends money on all kinds of strange toys. Since nothing really matters, the absurdism becomes liberating.
Sabine de Graaf
Sabine graduated in 2014 from AVK St. Joost in Breda. She is a hybrid multimedia/fine artist mostly inspired by toys, 90's culture, digital culture, modern marketing techniques, and observations. As an artist and a collector, Sabine de Graaf sees the value in archiving. The internet and digital culture have changed over the years and the increasing uniformity raises nostalgia and longing for the rebirth of the 90s of the last century - a decade where the virtual space used to be more underground, open, exploratory, and accidental. However, rather than being melancholic, Sabine de Graaf chooses to fight back by embedding the likes of "Zit Kit stress-relieving pimple popping" toys in her art.
WARP is a curated project that exhibits works of art in the restricted space of SEA Foundation’s vitrine. The aim of WARP is to establish a portfolio of regional and national artists and interlink the project with the successful international artist in the residence program. WARP is borrowing its name from a term that is widely used in the textile tradition. Warp is setting the direction of the threads when weaving. Warp threads run vertically and provide structure to the woof; the weft threads that are being wrapped around the warp. Organizations like SEA Foundation resemble the warp: a collection of threads being stretched in place presenting a frame and a given direction. For WARP we invite artists to produce new works and to draw their practice over and under like the weft threads. The result is a fabric made through collaboration, experiment, skills, and trust.
Exhibition dates: 05.06.2020 - 05.07.2020
Artist: Sabine de Graaf
Venue: SEA Foundation, Tivolistraat 22, 5017HP Tilburg
Opening Hours: open 24/7
Artist-led SEA Foundation is a non-profit art initiative. Over time, SEA Foundation has become a synonym for exhibitions, art practice support, exchanges, and publications. From 2013, we also run an International Artist in Residence program that offers a unique environment, by providing time and space for research, experimentation, and professional advancement. Every year the program facilitates up to 8 professional artists, curators and art writers in all stages of their careers.