Esther van der Heijden

Esther van der Heijden (1993, NL) is a multi-media artist, visual researcher, writer and graduate of the master Non Linear Narrative

Interview Esther van der Heijden

Esther van der Heijden interviewed by Cristina Lavosi during the Graduation Show 2021 at the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague (KABK).

Along the Troubled Current

Graduation project 2020-2021 by Esther van der Heijden
Video performance and ceramics

This is a story about a pteropod, a planktonic snail: The Great Drifter, The Shape Shifter. Pteropods are sensitive indicators of ocean acidification and high CO2 levels; their shell thickness gives us information about their resilience in the past and future. Pteropods play important roles in carbon fluxes in the open ocean, calcifying up to 89 precent of its waters. An embodied performance of the rapid and forced evolution of pteropods symbolizes what it takes to evolve, and questions how we relate to those having to adapt.

This bio-political tale invites the viewer into a close study of an oceanic creature to think through how climatic change is being lived. Through different characters, the narrator weaves together a broader context of oceanic injustices. How do vulnerability and elasticity come together when a hostile environment forces one change?

Along the Troubled Current, NLN Graduation project 2020-2021 by Esther van der Heijden
Installation view, KABK Graduation Show 2021, photo: Roel Backaert
Along the Troubled Current, NLN Graduation project 2020-2021 by Esther van der Heijden
Detail, KABK Graduation Show 2021, photo: Roel Backaert

About the study programme

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