Old City Suit, Streetwise, One Step Closer to Nature
Désirée Palmen works mainly in performance, photography and video . She studied at the Art Academy in the late 80s and at Jan van Eyck in Maastricht in the early 90’s. She has had several solo exhibitions in Europe and has participated in events at the 51st Venice Biennale and the 2011 Biennale in Istanbul. She also holds workshops with youth in the Al- Ma'al Foundation in Jerusalem and the Grunt Gallery in Vancouver. She lives and works in Berlin and Rotterdam.
Both projects explore the idea of camouflage in public urban spaces. The camouflage costumes are used in areas watched by Closed Circuit TeleVision (C.C.T.V). The videos take the same perspective as the surveillance cameras, and in so doing reflect on the scale of police surveillance in the inner city of Rotterdam (2002) and Jerusalem (2006). This perspective also requires the viewer to take on the role of the surveyor.
One step closer to nature is the first video (Berlin, 2012) of a series of performances at city ponds. Models and volunteers wear ‘duck sneakers’ and approach ducks and swans at the waterside. This is best accomplished by feeding them. In the process, those who wear the ‘duck sneakers’ feel (and reflect) a sense of closeness to the water birds.