Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

Collaborations with the Multidisciplinary

Monday, April 9, 2012

Emmeline de Mooij’s • Mixed Media

Emmeline de Mooij (Delft, 1978), currently lives and works in New York and Amsterdam and has a very detailed collection of works. She works a lot with settings in photography and from what we see she often centers herself like an actor in her own works. From 1997 to 2002 she studied Fashion Design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. If you see her work, you can see that she’s not your ordinary fashion alumni because her works are a combination of a lot of disciplines containing, but not limited to: sculptures, installations, photography, graphic design, video and performance art. I guess it’s safe to say her work is Mixed Media galore.

Where some alumni remain somewhat more linked to fashion, or at least to fashion within the ‘logical’ borders of fashion, I notice that there is an interesting thing that happens a lot during and after studying at the Rietveld. Something that I see less at other art schools seems to be more apparent there. The tendency to not-choose just one direction, but have a strong drive towards multi-disciplinary ways of creating their form of art. This is something that I not only see in the work of Emmeline de Mooij, but also in the work of other alumni like Felix & Mumford (Fashion, Installation, Graphic Design and more -),  Soepboer & Stooker (Fashion, Graphic Design and more -) and for example the way Thera Hillenaar doesn’t just make clothes for wearing, but also adds a focus on it’s interactive function.

The following images are taken from the solo exhibition ‘Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities’ at the Steinsland/Berliner gallery in Stockholm.
What I have mentioned in the above, becomes clearly visible in these photographic images.

‘Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities’
image © Emmeline de Mooij

image © Emmeline de Mooij

image © Emmeline de Mooij
image copyright - Emmeline de Mooij

In the above work she spent weeks in European forests with her colleague Melanie Bonajo and together they researched and visualized how the modern man compares itself to the outdoors nature.

“By wearing masks, I attempted to free myself from my ego and access a collective unconsciousness. It is a reaction to the Western urban human being, wallowing in a nostalgic concept of nature, convinced of being able to reach a certain pure natural state within the safe context of taking a course in “primal dancing” or “collaborating” with dead ancestors.”


I feel that from what I am learning now at the Rietveld, it is very important to try and focus on this collective unconsciousness, or somewhat try to approach and question the way you are thinking, and the way you approach a problem that you come across on your way to making a piece of art. This and the multidisciplinary approach to her works give me the feeling of a strong connection to the Rietveld.

Besides all of the above, I also notice that Emmeline de Mooij sometimes works together with other artists,. One interesting collaboration is with Viviane Sassen. Llet’s take a closer look at some photographs, which I like for the simplicity, the clean image they produced together. They are from 2004 and it’s clearly a predecessor to the work ‘Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities’.

Untitled, photography by Viviane Sassen – 2004

image copyright - Emmeline de Mooij and Viviane Sassen

The “Strip it down baby, give me those bare necessities” Series that Emmeline shot with Melanie Bonajo are in good line with the above collaboration with Viviane Sassen, as a later collab, you see that the input of Melanie Bonajo gives new grounds to explore. In contrast to the collaboration with Viviane, Melanie Bonajo takes place in front of the camera together with Emmeline de Mooij, and they both become part of the work that way.

Melanie Bonajo & Emmeline de Mooij together in a work
image copyright - Emmeline de Mooij and Melanie Bonajo

Melanie Bonajo is a Dutch artist, and is currently based in Germany, in Kunstlerhaus Bethanian in Berlin where she enjoys a year long residency. Besides photography, Melanie also brings into practice making videos, installations and performances. From a quote we learn that she has a good overlap in certain areas with Emmeline de Mooij:

“In her photographs, videos, installations and performances Melanie Bonajo approaches paradoxes of domestic life within a culture of free-time and luxury, the facets of a Modernized Society that remove from the individual the feeling of belonging, and increase feelings of isolation and identity issues related to our shifting relationship to nature. She is interested in belief systems and opposes our mechanical point of view by generating a substitute universe. Established norms of moral, mental and social order incorporated into the everyday life of a society’s population are challenged and put on trial.”


It all started with this work, that I didn’t quite get the first time I saw it but that esthetically satisfied me.

‘Gravity and Domestic Dust – 2010’

image copyright - Emmeline de Mooij

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log in