‘Who am I Becoming?’ Natalia Papaeva (RU/NL)
This year WORM’s summer artist-in-resident is Natalia Papaeva. She will develop her new project ‘Who am I Becoming’ in S/ash Gallery in July and August 2019. Results of the residency will be shown in the gallery on 12 September. There will be few moments open to the public in the summer months so keep checking back!
Natalia’s perspective on the project:
“Becoming a Rotterdam artist at CBK made me question what this title means to me, since my artistic subjects have been until now exclusively focused on my Siberian origin. “Who am I Becoming” is a dialogical artistic research between me, Japanese artist Yasunori Kawamatsu and five other people, who all identify as immigrants living in Rotterdam. The project is dedicated to the notion of being an immigrant and the process of finding a new home here in Rotterdam. The immigrant is a troublemaker in politics. They are difficult to integrate. It is a painful process of leaving things behind and accepting new rules. Newcomers have to break themselves in order to reshape and add new pieces to their identity.
I am interested in how immigrant citizens of Rotterdam restore their identities and connect to the city? How do people from different cultures become Rotterdammers? How do I become a Rotterdamer?
“Who am I Becoming” uses experimental mixed techniques of artistic research by combining the philosophy of Kintsugi, the ancient Japanese technique of repairing broken objects, interviewing and performance. The underlying mindset behind the project is rooted in the practice of Kintsugi with which I am fascinated. It treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. The essence of Kintsugi is resilience. Each of us should look for a way to cope with traumatic events in a positive way, learn from negative experiences, take the best from them and convince ourselves that exactly these experiences make each person unique and precious. This project aims to provide time and space of the participating immigrants, including myself to connect memories of our previous habitat to Rotterdam. It is, on one hand, delicate and vulnerable process, on the other, it is making one stronger and resilient. Just as how the practice of Kintsugi pieces the broken parts of an object together, this project pieces together the past, present and future of both the participants and myself.”
The results of the project will be presented in the form of a video installation at WORM Slash Gallery on 12th September 2019. The opening will also feature a special contribution by Chinese artist living in The Netherlands: Jiajia Qi.
Natalia Papaeva biography
Natalia Papaeva (1989) was born in Orlik, a small village in Buryatia, Siberia. She moved to The Netherlands to study at the Royal Academy of The Hague. She graduated in 2018 with the video work Yokhor, winning both the department prize of Interactive/ Media/Design at the Royal Academy and the TENT Academy Award. Drawing from her own experiences and feelings of anger, loneliness and alienation, Papaeva makes intense, raw performances that touch upon universal themes.
This project is supported by CBK Rotterdam O&O grant and Mondriaan Fonds.