train of thought

mirjamsvideos, 1983, the Netherlands

Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Belgium

mirjamsmailadres@ gmail.com, Lisbon, Portugal

I grew up in a house that sort of resembled a zoo. The greatest spectacle my father had ever made, was a 20 square meter rainforest in the attic, where hummingbirds flew around and frogs and lizards were trying their best not to be seen.
With my parents I learned to see that which often goes unnoticed, to appreciate that which is silent, small, pure, magnificent.

Years later, during my studies in Photography I found a few words of a modern philosopher that said that: “A feeling of sadness arises in people, when looking at a beautiful work of art or being in a beautiful piece of nature. It reminds them of the absence of this beauty in normal days and they wonder, why not everyday life can be like this.”

It was the saddest thought for me, for, though sometimes it´s not easy to see, normals days too are full of beauty. And one needs not a small rainforest in the attic to encounter the magic, the uttermost beauty is in the ordinary too.

Next to that, it was a scary thought as well, for the simple not noticing of something, can destroy everything. So I started to document the little wonders that came my way, hoping that by showing what I saw, I could learn others to see, like my parents taught me, and all I held so dear would be protected.

The change from photography to video came by pure chance (the oh so common video feature on a digital photo camera). Though the videos still hold to their photographic roots, the change to include time was a necessary step to take to show the pure beauty of daily life, which is all dances of subtle change over time.

I travel as much as I can. Seeing new places and different ways of living, has greatly enriched my life and my work:      I followed trails of ants, I hugged stray cats in the streets, I floated above the earth in cable carts, saw insects that can walk on water, drank too many coffees and didn't sleep. I tasted the snow and froze a camera, sat by a pool for hours watching the floating leaves. A bug got lost in my hair, I searched for lizards in the parks, I watched the dust flying around in hotel rooms and the birds in the sky.

Still, many of the videos were shot in or from my own living room and even through the bathroom window.

"I felt like in a dream" she said, ignited, illuminated, slightly intoxicated.

"It was beautiful to see that things can work a better way" she repeated several times. They had set her on fire, switched on her light.

But, when coming back to ´her own world´, herself shining so bright, all that surrounded her now seemed so dark.

Now it is her turn to set the world alight.

Lit is a dream that might have happened in real life. Everything looks so real but nothing makes sense. You are sleeping, but somehow you feel so awake. You are here now in tomorrow´s the day before yesterday and you remember how things were when everything seemed right. How to get to that place again?

Lit shows you a plunge into a new world and the aliveness that the discovery of a new and better way of living brings. And then, the confusion and stillness of coming back ´home´again. You yourself alight, in a world now grim, whose attitude you now question, you try to find a way to keep your spark alive and to spread your fire.

Though often lost, this is the best train to be on

Because once lost, it can just go back and try again

Or try a different track

And go to places yet unseen, yet unknown

Listen is ruled by a doubtful world; appearing peaceful, yet constantly being ´disturbed´ by tiny things bursting with life.

It´s 5 scenes together create an odd play between micro and macro worlds, at moments when everything is almost colourless, creating a strangeness and letting the question arise whether what is seen is something sinister, sad, or just utterly beautiful.

Our lives bring us these moments of doubt as well, and only too often do we choose to see them through dark eyes.

Aero is that which cannot be captured in words, concepts. It is that which moves all.

It is as sound, music, the unifying force of Aero, that as a work of art, reveals itself in many different forms.

But itself, it is no-form. It is like a play between air and water, the two elements through which sound travels out and inside of you, transforming the air, the atmosphere around you and the world inside of you.

The artwork Aero shows all being moved by something one cannot see. Like us Aero seems to be searching for what form to give to that which is present. But completion never arises, all stays in a state of play of form in formlessness and, unlike us, becomes more playful and gracious as it moves along.

Aero´s sounds are created by portuguese composer João Madeira.

2012, 07-03 – 31-04 – AERO @ Fábrica Braço de Prata, Lisboa, Portugal

2012, 06-09 – 08-09 – AERO, memories, ice, ladybird @ Cinemabioscoop, Lisboa, Portugal

2015, 07-02 – 21-02 AERO @ Deconstruções Construtivas, Santerem, Portugal

2015, 26-03 – AERO @ Slingshot Festival, Athens, USA

2015, 01-04 – ongoing – listen @ disCorporate Bodies, The Unstitute, online

2015, 25-04 – listen @ Filmideo, Newark, USA

2015, 08-10 – 31-10 listen @ Miami New Media Festival, USA

2015, 16-10 – AERO @ AURORA festival, Dallas, USA

2019, 06-06 - 02-08 - FRESH LEGS BERLIN, Inselgalerie Berlin


2011, 23-11, Plugged & Unplugged, Vinyl, Lisboa, Portugal

2012, 07+31-03, Fábrica Braço de Prata, Lisboa, Portugal

2012, 06-12, Ora Bolas!, Demimonde, Lisboa, Portugal

2015, 19-02, Deconstruções Construtivas, Santerem, Portugal

2016, 15-10, PedraPapelTesoura, Flores do Cabo, Sintra, Portugal

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