"This mastery over existing is the power of beginning, of starting out from itself, starting from itself neither to act nor to think, but to be" -[Levinas; time and the other]
Mette Sterre creates sculptural body masks that cover the wearer's entire body. The way in which the complex body masks restrict and permit movement forms the basis of her performances, installations and films. Sterre investigates how the human contour can be disturbed in the broadest sense, both ideologically and materially, in order to question what more we can be, other than human beings. Although the wearer is the one who animates the mask, it is the mask that dominates a new body language and thus demanding a different state physical conciousness and embodiment of being from the animator. The activator/animator/mover of these bodymasks have to submit themselves to the work, creating a new bodylanguage for the non-human body, relating to carnivalesque and fokloric traditions, creating a live other worldly experience. The concealing mask makes its wearer unrecognizable, using DIY robots, voluminous materials and prostheses functioning as bodily extensions. She values the physical qualities of the sensory perception of structures and textures. How does it feel for the wearer to embody the masks and how does the spectator perceive these creatures? Mette Sterre is currently working on performative installations with several body masks that are their own beings within the artificial space of her studio. This uncanny environment makes it possible to investigate, both intuitively and rationally, our perception of what we consider to be living matter.
Biography Mette Sterre During and after graduating in 2006 from the Bachelor Autonomous Fine Art Bachelor at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam, I started making short movies revolving around the notions of the grotesque. Through this I started performing and creating body masks, distorting the human contour, creating hybrids. Wanting to research and develop the theatrical side of my practice, I moved to London in 2011 where I started at the Master Program Performance and Creative Research at the University of Roehampton, but switched after a half year to the MA Performance Design & Practice at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London, graduating in 2014. I further developed my ideas around the body, movement and materiality as well the development of a more concise understanding of the grotesque, which was the main subject of my master thesis. I'm now a visiting practitioner at Central Saint Martins London and mentor for BA Textile Design students at Chelsea College of Arts. After 7 years living and working in London I’ve moved back to the Netherlands to be resident at the prestigious Rijksakademie of Visual Arts in Amsterdam until tjune 2021. Here I started to delve deeper into neuroscience, matter, materiality and speculative fictions through robotics, trans-humanism, inter sectional xeno/glitch feminism, eroticims. My work has been shown in the Prague Theatre Design Quadrinale, the Watermill Center and Cue Art Foundation in New York, Glasgow International, the Trienale Design Museum in Milan, Kunstverein in Hamburg, Migros Museum, London Design Week, Fashion Space Gallery in London, Gallery Esmeralda in Curacao, the Museum of Everything in the Kunsthal, David Roberts Art Foundation's Evening of Performances in Club Koko. I've worked with Monster Chetwynd, Robert Wilson, Andrey Bartanev, Dimitris Papaioannou, Getinthebackofthevan, Christopher Knowles amongst others. My work has been published in Vogue Italy, the Wall street Journal, the New York Times, Artefact Magazine and Volkskrant, NRC, Telegraaf, Parool, Artforum and Xibit Magazine, Metropolis M and others.