My Self, the Fetus (2015)

‘My Self, the Fetus’ is about the convention of “just being yourself”. In Dutch we always say “gewoon lekker jezelf zijn”. But what does that actually mean and contain? For me it meant the start of an in-depth research into the Self and the identification process.

The recognition of who we are is defined by our self-conscience as it is defined by ‘the Other.’ As poet Arthur Rimbaud sharply states: Je est un autre – the I is someone else / I am someone else – the I is created through other people’s view/eyes. Throughout our lives, we constantly perform other people’s vision of us. I translated this research into a durational live performance in which I lie down in fetal position with my body covered in a material that evolves from liquid to fixed to cracked within the timeframe of five hours. I use this to represent the aspect of the decreasing of the Self by other people’s view on me.

Writer and poet Justin Samgar wrote a poem especially for this work. 

‘My Self, the fetus’ at ArtDeli, Amsterdam. 

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© Photography and polaroids by Marieke Gras
© Lisette Ros