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“Fascinated by the difference between blind reality and sensual dreams.”  


With wonder Iris Donker ('s Hertogenbosch, 1986), observes the collective agreement upon which our reality is based. The underlying dysfunctional layer, which is being perpetuated against all reasoning, gives her reason to seek seclusion and to re-shape, distort, digitalize and once again realize the world. Donker uses sunlight to illuminate the dark side of life and through her work she creates space for a fantastical reality full of contradictions.

“Actually in my work I’m always seeking for what would be for me the ideal reality. An intuitive protest against daily life and against the rhythm and the rules of our existence. I am fascinated by moving images as well as the fact that you can endlessly repeat light and sound, both in film and in memories.

During the filming process I create a space and a setting in which comfort and ease are playing together. In my work I let projections, sound, scent and texture communicate with each other. That’s how a hypnotic and infinite feast emerges, an unworldly landscape that multiplies like a virus.”


At its core, Donker’s work consists of a continuously growing organic collection of images – a swirling well from which elements find their way into various media such as video, installations, photo prints on various materials, sound and text. These images often emerge spontaneously and intuitively and are essentially absurd and without order.

Donker writes texts, collects objects and other elements, which she combines with the locations where she works, in order to evoke the spontaneous images that make up her work. She executes the entire process by herself: production, sound, directing, camera operation, editing, performance, costumes and the décor.

“The way I approach the execution of my work is not necessarily done by reason. I make sure that I protect my creative expression against a pre-conceived plan, in order to keep as much space as possible for spontaneity and coincidence. I prefer to defy logic so that I can keep surprising both myself and my audience. In this manner, the basis from which I create is experienced as pure and at the same time it offers me a wide range of material to further develop.”

The archive of images, which consists primarily of material that has arisen from intuition and improvisation, is the source of Donker’s eventual work: carefully composed images and installations that are often composed of many layers. By cutting up, repeating and multiplying these film fragments Donker gives her work an absurd stratification, a weird journey into the subconscious. For this she combines analogue and digital images. The accumulation of material from her archive offers a softened, unreal version of reality, which protests against the harsh High Definition quality by which the world is currently being captured.

After the editing and composing of the photo- and video material, a translation to the physical space is made. Both in her films as well as in her installations, light is one of the most important factors. The reflection of the projection makes the space come to life and turning off the light makes the boundaries of the space disappear.

“In my work I want to create an environment that does not exist in accordance with the rules of reality and in which the audience is challenged to become a part of the landscape. This evokes a variety of confrontations that produce un-ease, wonderment and confusion. The uneasiness is sensible, an organic rhythmic atmosphere emerges, which attempts to intoxicate the mind of the spectator.”


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