Amalie Ebsen Ouro Jensen (Sveske)
Thesis: Primal beings in domesticated spaces
Call to the city series; - Ringing my bell to the city, 2020
Call to the city series; - Yelling from bridges, 2022
You can call me Sveske', publication 2022
Using my own body as a starting point, I interact with the world around me.
I am fascinated with the concept that one can create and re-create oneself through actions and so with my body make spaces into being..
In my artistic practice I see myself as a collector of a sort, a story teller documenting parts of daily life that are often overlooked. In my work I wish to interact with the mundane and to question its existence and its structures, and then I try to approach it all with a humour in order to highlight the absurdity of life.
The public sphere has become a returning interest for me: the space in between
private and public, human interactions, social behaviour and the performative element of day to day life. To me there is poetry living in public spaces, as there is poetry and power in mundane habits of everyday life.
In my series of public performances ‘Call to the City’ I try to gently push existing structures in the hope of making ripples and creating small reactionary patterns of curiosity.
With my installation at the graduation show I hope to give others a glimpse of the fascination and beauty that I see in the public sphere, and the power of everyday acts to inspire others to approach the public as a space of possibility.
In the middle of two walls you see a two sided bench, created to mimic common public benches found around Amsterdam, shaped in solid wood. From the bench you can view two videos of performances taking place in the public sphere with audio playing directly from the bench itself. The two videos are part of the ongoing series of public interruptions named ‘Call to the city’.
‘Ringing my bell to the city’ is a performance from 2020, during the first lock down of the pandemic. Feeling a deep urge to connect with people in that highly absurd time, I created a glass bell and an outfit inspired by both current and former pandemics and walked the streets of Amsterdam in an attempt to perform for the street and ‘call’ to the world. I walked 8 mornings in the 8 districts of Amsterdam and made corresponding postcards, each with its own silly greeting mimicking holiday cards.
The sound is a soundscape of the glass bell mixing with the sounds of the city, and edited to not fit the video on purpose, as to add another layer of distance I feel corresponds to the alienation experiences of life during the first months of the pandemic.
‘Yelling from bridges’ is a performance from spring 2022 evolving from my thesis ‘Primal beings in domesticated spaces’. The work is about claiming my space in the city, culminating from a research on Urban public space and performativity. It is about how we as humans are domesticated into these spaces and so are not allowed to express many primal emotions in the public sphere. I claim the bridges as a liminal space in the city and I made a wooden stool to step up on as a tool referring to soap-box public speaking. I yell to the world to interrupt the city in the most direct way and to break with my own boundaries of how I am supposed to behave in public. It became an outcry, a manifesto for re-claiming one's existence in our urban environments.
The video is cut from each bridge to fit the text that I am yelling. Although I am trying to express myself fully and give in to the raw show of emotion I normally would hide from the public, my yell gets muffed by the city, and in the end, one can’t fully make out what I am trying to yell.
I added subtitles to still make the text available in the video documentation, but in the pure public performance my voice was ultimately lost in the city. A poetic twist that ads a certain loneliness to the scene, as it asks the question, if one can ever fully be understood?