Multidisciplinary artist Marleen Sleeuwits has a special eye for the alienating quality of seemingly nondescript, every-day-use spaces. Central to her work is the investigation of impersonal environments — places that could be anywhere and nowhere — such as vacant zones in airports, unoccupied corridors of hotels, and empty rooms in office buildings. Gradually, Marleen’s art practice developed from the gesture of photographing these areas, into the act of intervention.
‘In my work, I adjust the places I encounter. It started by making small changes in interiors, but they have become more and more extreme.’ She adds layers to spaces like office buildings or strips them in order to discover what surprises are hidden behind a wall or ceiling. In her current practice, Marleen Sleeuwits increasingly reuses the inherent characteristics of a location. By doing so, she questions notions of affordances, material, design, usability, and, most importantly, recognisability.
By scanning the artist’s work, looking for clues, you think you are getting a hold of the image – only to once again become completely lost in dizzying, repetitive inversions. Her art twists the visual element of reality, plays with scale, and creates optical illusions. Moreover, through her emergence from behind the camera into the field of practice, she alternatingly challenges the role of photographer, sculptor, architect, or painter.
Multidisciplinary photographer Marleen Sleeuwits, born in 1980 in Enschede, currently lives and works in The Hague. In 2001 she graduated from the Royal Academy of the Arts with a BA in photography, whereafter she obtained her MA in the same discipline at AKV|St. Joost in 2005.
Since 2005 Marleen has been exhibiting solo and in groups, at home and abroad, both in galleries and museums. Among other places, her works have been on display at the Kunsthal and Nederlands Fotomuseum in Rotterdam, Museum De Fundatie Zwolle, Sous Les Etoiles Gallery in New York, FOAM, Museo Diocesano di Milano, Brno House of Arts and Galerie Bart. Moreover, Marleen frequently participates in art fairs, such as Photo Miami US, Art Rotterdam, Unseen Photo Fair, Jeonju Photo Festival KR, Paris Photo FR, and Photo Basel CH. The collaboration between Galerie Bart and Marleen dates back to 2019.
Marleen’s oeuvre has been acknowledged through several awards, stipends, and nominations, such as the Meijburg Art Commission and Foam Talent, which Marleen both has won, a Prix the Rome nomination, and several grants by Mondriaan Fonds. Also, art collections of Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, AkzoNobel, KPMG, Museum Het Valkhof, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and various private collections contain works by Sleeuwits.
01.08 Musée Magazine Woman Crush Wednesday: Marleen Sleeuwits editorial.
09.09 Metropolis M Het zoete leven by Sanneke Huisman.
01.04 Frame Magazine Get the Picture? by Jane Szita.
21.03 Ignant Marleen Sleeuwits’ Distorts Everyday by Stephanie Wade.
01.05 WePresent Marleen Sleeuwits by Alix-Rose Cowie.
07.12 Palet Magazine Marleen Sleeuwits maakt ruimte by Merel van den Nieuwenhof.
01.02 PF Magazine Houvast en verwondering in vervreemding by Maurits Schmidt.
21.01 On the Soft Edge of Space monograph by Marleen Sleeuwits, Onomatopee Eindhoven.
26.06 Prime Time, archetypes of abstraction in photography by Stefan Heyne, Galerie Diehl DE.