Lisette Ros (Hilversum, NL, 1991) is a conceptual and performance artist, officially since 2013.
In 2016 Lisette Ros performed at the Venice Architecture Biennal in Italy, followed by the international launch of My Self, the Body at SXSW in Austin, USA (2018), and a collaboration with Asian Dope Boys for TRANCE at MWoods Museum in Beijing, China (2019). In 2021 she finished her residency at Marina Abramoviç and she launched her work My Self, the (First) Breath at SIM in Iceland. She is currently working on the sixth part of her ‘My Self’ series in Indonesia, which is about (her unfamiliar) roots, titled My Self, the (Unfamiliar) Roots. Partly mentored by performance artist Melati Suryodarmo.
In June 2023 Ros launched her “Presence in Absence” piece as the first part of her performative research series The Absence of Metamorphosis for which she started researching the concept of metamorphosis in relation to the axolotl at Casa Lü in Mexico-City.
Her work has been exhibited at Amsterdam Museum, Apiary London, Arti et Amicitiae, Barbara Thumm Galerie, Casa Lü Galería, The Curators Room – La Oficina Barcelona, De Waag Society, EYE Film Museum, Frans Halsmuseum, Het HEM, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Goethe Institute, Looiersgracht 60, MOYA Museum Oosterhout, Museumnacht Rotterdam, MWoods Museum Beijing, SBK-Dordrecht, South By South West, Studio Plesungan, Oped Space Tokyo, Piramidón Centre d’Art Contemporani, Van Abbemuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and guerrilla at (various) places.
Ros also teaches as a performative lecturer and develops creative workshops/programs for youth and adults while working as a practicing artist. The main themes Ros addresses are: identity and the fluidity thereof, diversity of appearance, gender performativity; questioning box-thinking, prejudices, banal actions and everyday systems. Of importance is learning how to turn inwards, to get to know your own vulnerabilities, feelings and conditioning, how to open-up towards and how to apply them as strengths. All with a creative undertone. Inspiration, recognition, humor and different ways of looking/seeing form a common thread. Before this, Lisette Ros gained several years of experience in shaping and teaching classes about (in)tolerance, discrimination, identity, diversity and the LGBTQI+ community.
The research of artist Lisette Ros is complementary: towards society, unmasking how collective mechanisms work; conditioned by an understructure rooted in our basic, daily behavior, and towards herself.
While her performances always carry recognizable elements, she analyses routines and questions conventions, daily rhythms and their self-evidence. She sees the consequences of socio cultural praxis that affect us, whilst the peculiar element to her work is that this all cannot exist apart from her persona. Her body is therefor the pivotal space of action, the battlefield where these types of questions are asked; her ground for exploration.
Ros’ performances are marked by reiterations of the same gestures and acts, increasing the feelings of discomfort in the spectator. However, instead of using herself simply as a vessel, an instrument such as a canvas can be, Ros’ body is symbol and flesh at the same time. Standing naked as an iconographic emblem of general humanity, hers are the muscles, hers are the lungs, hers are the tired legs after writhing in the spasm of moving. It is her body that shapes the physical joint between herself and the world, and it is exactly there that the artists’ process of research manifests itself, as a quest towards collective mechanisms, and as a quest towards her own, fluid identity. Who is she, in the midst of it all? Currently identifying as humanimal, woman, queer, fluid and gay. But mostly, a hybrid form of existence, morphing between the fragmented categories of existing species.
This is the profound reason why Ros’ aching need of understanding has to pass through her body. Feelings are confronting, but at the same time introduce her with vulnerabilities, her flesh, her blood. She is bleeding, she is breathing, she is wondering.
© Sara van Bussel
© Photo by Edland Man
© Lisette Ros