Simon Keizer


Simon Keizer

The Man with Ten Faces and a Hundred Arms, 2022

Simon Keizer approaches the body from the perspective of religion and the belief that the body is separated from our spirit. Keizer developed a new work especially for the exhibition, based on the religious background of VU Amsterdam. Through an installation and a performance Keizer again reconnects body and soul.

Keizer drew inspiration from the life of Abraham Kuyper, VU's founder and a principal figure of the reformist movement in The Netherlands. Kuyper suffered from depressive episodes and burn-outs and found a way to rebalance his troubled mind by an almost obsessive dedication to walking in nature. Keizer took this as starting point to create an installation investigating the act of wandering in nature, combining the figure of Kuyper with Henry David Thoreau's classic Walden and the related movement of Transcendentalism. Founded by Ralph Waldo Emerson around 1830 in New England, America, this philosophical and spiritual movement blends Western Romanticism with Native American, Buddhist and Hindu beliefs. Using walking sticks, natural wool felt fabrics, a tree trunk and Emerson's quote "I become a transparent eyeball", Keizer's installation delves into the contradictory human needs to master and be overwhelmed.

Simon Keizer's (NL, 1988) work focuses on how the relationship with our body is determined through history and culture. He makes installations, sculptures and performances that create new perspective on the human relationship with the body. Keizer uses repetitive rituals and humour to get out of the mind and into the body.