Anet van de Elzen (Eerde, Netherlands, 1963) is a visual artist using many different ways of expression. Her first works are often sculptures, drawings and photographs, later, since 2000 her work is developing more towards performance and film. In 2017 this search resulted into the 63 minutes film Echo the Now, where many of her performances and actions find a more distilled form. Her work is always about creating images, deriving from a subconscious level, this way developing a personal vocabulary of atmospheres and stories. She has made performances in an international and national context. Since the ninety-nineties she organizes different performance festivals and events and also collaboration projects with other artists. In 2000 this led to the foundation of Stichting Performance (www.tobepresent.nl) and in 2003 she helped Denys Blacker founding the cultural association Gresol in Madremanya, in Spain. From 2010 to 2012 she was the first curator of punt WG, the artist initiative in Oud West in Amsterdam. Anet is also part of the international performance group Wolf in the Winter. Her work as a curator has always been about bundling artistic energy to enlarge the scope of possibilities of the individual and part from the ego, basically to get in touch with pure creation and the power of imagination.
End 2016 Anet moved from Amsterdam and now lives and works on the island of Texel and also in her studio in Amsterdam. These two extremely different environments forced her to take a stand and focus to what is essential. She experienced after her moving that in the city the pressure of economic existence and competition for recognition sometimes put her on an astray away from essentials. The rest and space of the countryside now opens her eyes and mind for the beauty of landscape and surrounding, for the immensity of nature. Her question became: What is really important to us, people, to human existence?
My newest research project is called Breathing Matters.
Breathing matters is where human life starts, where everything what concerns us starts (and ends) the breath, beginning of cry and laughter, beginning of spoken word and story, beginning of song, beginning of beauty and ugly.
Beginning of justice but also of injustice.
Beginning of equality or might and misbehavior.
Beginning of ego and looking further to see what we are in connection to the other.
Beginning of choices but also of survival.
And this all evolves in between two breaths, the first one when we are born and the last one when we die.
The projects resulting from this theme are in connection to other people, telling stories, improvising song and sound, working with adolescents to understand what they want to do with their breath. I look around and work in circles, with my father after my mother got vascular dementia, with my aunt who kept hundreds of letters from her past, with the youngsters and old people on the island. All projects circle around the theme of improvisation, creating and cherishing precious moments.
Anet van de Elzen, January 2021