'Push Fall Repeat', 2017, lithoprint nr.3, 24 × 30,5 cm
Born Nijmegen (NL), 1987
In order to question social definitions of empowerment and independence, in recent projects the artist Marieke Zwart has collaborated with healthcare institutions, where the most vulnerable aspects of human emotions are negotiated on a daily basis. Working closely with caretakers and patients, Zwart usually takes up the charcoal and pastel to make drawings in which she keenly observes their physical language and emotional interaction as they negotiate different forms of care and dependence. The social, personal and institutional interaction of members of a certain community can become the raw material for the project as Zwart extends her studio practice to a relational environment by leading workshops or devoting her time to developing long-term personal relations with individuals. As such, the dimensions of artistic and personal engagement negotiates the power structures between caretakers, patients, artist and audiences. Microhistories and narratives are magnified to speak about collective anxieties, a sensibility to personal stories which also appears in Zwart’s recurring interest in the Dutch colonial past, especially those dark pages in its history which are readily suppressed or overlooked in public debate.