Marika Vandekraats

artistiek onderzoek - ecologie - dekolonisatie

Marika Vandekraats (she/her) is an artist from the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations, also known as Vancouver, Canada. Her research focuses on the human entanglements tied between nature and capital to frame extractivist processes that have irreversibly effected the climate. This interest stems from her settler identity and her Dutch ancestry, which has led her to relocate to Rotterdam, NL, to research her familial histories in migration and settler colonialism. Her work takes shape through video, sculpture, text, and performative installations that utilize archival research to challenge its context. Vandekraats regularly collaborates with friends in performance, video, and workshops to form solidarity and collective resistance against structures of oppression with the exaltation of kinship.

Blue Waters (2022) - In collaboration with Gloriya Avgust. Blue Waters is a performance built around two characters: a tropical storm and a sunburned tourist. Our script, performed live and broadcasted as a radio program, followed the two characters until their moment of meeting, an interruption of great disaster. Throughout the script, we returned to a song from Sally Oldfeild titled “Blue Waters” which sings about a love that takes over like a river crashing into her. This form of interruption was a returning point in our research as a question “What interruptions do we invite into our lives and which interruptions violently uproot us?” We placed the moment of bliss and introspection while on vacation in juxtaposition with the effects of a tropical storm to consider the roles that tourist capitalism plays in climate change and how larger looming catastrophes can be made parallel to our own internal dilemmas.
(Un)turned (2022) - (Un)turned is a performative reflection of the essentiality of gas within the personal and nation context. The performance includes footage placed in reverse of the first pipeline being installed in British Columbia, ultimately imagine the pipeline being torn back up from the earth. The text performed the question “what are our essential relationships to extraction?” Considering the entanglements caused by globalization, the performance utilizes the role of the surveyor, moving a cart around the space. Channeling through delay and looping pedals, a microphone is dragged on the ground and echoes the moments of contact, refraining to a moment of the text: "The turning of the soils is a line, east to west, north to south. The turning of the soils is a line that crossed lines. The turning of the soils is a line too far."
November Strawberry (2021) - November Strawberry questions the consequences of producing fruit monocultures which make produce available year round. In Florida, strawberries are one of the leading causes for sinkholes, due to overwatering in winter months causing soil erosion. This fact prompted the question: “what is the normal that we are trying to preserve?” This question was explored through 3D scanning and mold-making, two other forms of replication. In both processes, cracks eventually emerge: the glitch in 3D scanning; the seams of a cast object. In creating our own forms of multiples in casting and scanning, we were reinterpreting the forms of replication made at strawberry farms, allowing the interruptions in form to be our own sinkholes, pushing us towards our question: “How does replicating the causes of cracks help us to preserve a future?”
Birling Down White Waters (2021) - Birling Down White Waters traces the early history of Canadian logging as a means to consider the formation of Canadian identity. Log rolling, or birling, was a skill that was brought over from Scandinavian settlers in Canada in which men would balance on logs to poke at any jams being formed by logs pilling up in river bends. This act of balancing on logs became equated to being a good dancer, as you must be agile on your feet to stay afloat, and the log rollers became idyllic figures within the Canadian settler narrative, having even a song made for them which tells of a woman in love with a log roller for his dancing skills. How does a settler nation frame its history? What and who is excluded in this narrative? By collaging archived footage and positioning myself in the position of the log roller floating on the river, I question the romanticization placed on a figure that was created through industry and colonial methods of deforestation.
Smoke Machine (2020) - Collaboration with Kotryna Buruckaite. A reflection between friends on the mundanity and the infinite feeling of trying, and the search for a collective release with the non-humans in our lives.
Washing Hands with Soap in the Shape of my Mother’s Hands (2018-2019) - In 5 seperate performances, I situated myself in public space to wash passerbys’ hands with soap that I had casted in the shape of my mother’s hands. As the performances continued, time would gradually appear on the surface of the soap as the lines of the hand would dissolve and soap would beging to lose its hand-shaped form. The performance was made in the aftermath of a hand operation my mother underwent which made me question changes in the feelings of care and if these changes could be shared with strangers.