Sculptor, stage designer or video-artist: Aernout Mik would fit perfectly into any one of these categories. Born in Gröningen (the Netherlands) in 1962, Aernout Mik’s video installations are easily recognized for their peculiar architecture and hypnotic images. Normally his work is retro-projected on screens installed in an architectural circuit that makes the spectator saunter through a labyrinth of images, volumes and forms.
In most cases (Middlemen, Park, Glutinosity, Kitchen, Territorium, Fluff, 3 Crying 4 Laughing, Organic Escalator, etc.), the perfectly dramatised and studied scenes present characters who seem to dissolve into each other in repetitive and mimetic actions that are sometimes violent, other times disturbing, and apparently never provoke any consequences or determined resolutions. There is neither a beginning nor an end, no action or reaction, and yet the spectator suspects that themes like self-control, motivation, social relationships, violence and frustration are dealt with in a tangential and ambiguous way, the same as in critique.
Mik’s most recent works, presented under the generic title “Citizens and Subjects” in the Dutch pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2007), usher in a new period for his work by intermixing staging plans with archived documents in a hard political metaphor on the notions of subject, propaganda and citizenship.