Bernice Nauta

Bernice Nauta

Deventer, Netherlands 1991
  • Handkerchief, 2017
  • The pleasant art of spending money, 2017
  • Installation view soloshow La Nariz, Centro de Arte Faro Cabo Mayor, Santander, ES, 2017
  • Still from La Nariz, video 00:22:04, 2017
  • Installation view, Imaginary Studio, Onderstussen at Stroom La Haya, 2017

Bernice Nauta’s works are relics from the stories of her protagonists. Figures like Schelm, Figure T, Skia, Benny Snouta and Positive Cowboy all have their own personality, biography and meaning. By working from the points of view of these personalities, Nauta feels free to keep a kind of personal distance from the works she makes, whether they are paintings, drawings, sculptures, video’s or music. The different characters form a fictional autobiography. This autobiography is grounded in her idea that the subject (self) is unstable. She considers her mind as a place for countless heteronyms that have their own style and sometimes even have conflicting views.

In portraits and scenes, videos, fictional newspapers, sculptures and fabricated props she shows glimpses of the characters, where the viewer is invited to construct and knit together the shattered story lines. For developing the characters Bernice Nauta is, amongst others, inspired by “Lazarillo de Tormes”, first exponent of the genre of “picaresque”. His attitude hungry, deceitful and cynical, erasing the limits and upsetting the opinions of people. From the beginning of her career she has been interested in the trickster, an archetype used in myths and classic stories, symbolized in multiple ways -gods, spirits, men or anthropomorphic beasts- that constantly changes it’s shape and knows how to undermine the pressure of authority. As Lewis Hyde points out, in his book Trickster Makes this World, Nauta finds in the iconography of the trickster, a disruptive and transgressive character that serves as a vital component for the human imagination and creative intelligence.

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