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Critical Practice

Mathilda Oosthuizen

Mathilda is an artist and writer living and working in North London, having graduated from Chelsea Art College in 2011 and soon to graduate with an MA Contemporary Art Practice from the Royal College of Art.

Previously published in Still Point Journal online, and having recently exhibited in Brussels at Former Gallery Space, Mathilda uses a multitude of materials including text, moving image and sound.

In July 2021 she will be the artist in residence at R.I.A.S in Cornwall, to reflect and create visually and textually humorous and jarring interactions on the agency and visibility of objects – a subject at the epicentre of her practice.

Text, sound and moving image are a few of the materials I use to investigate the visibility of objects, animals and matter to create work that recognises the significance of their agency.

Writing and research are as much a part of the work itself as the process of its creation. Through revealing the research behind the work, I comment on the absurdity of the role of referencing in the validation of artworks and writing. I address this through a tongue-in-cheek use of captured, edited and reproduced images from the internet. Using humour to further digest the subject matter of image authenticity and nonhuman visibility.

Page 1: To be Something Else
Page 2: To be Something Else
Page 3: To be Something Else
Page 4: To be Something Else
Page 5: To be Something Else
Page 6: To be Something Else
Page 7: To be Something Else

This project has morphed from a short story based on Kafka’s Metamorphosis, into moving image and audio. Offering movement and transformations of text from the page and mutations of multiple voices all cajoling to be something else.

The audio gives space for the listener to conjure up images from the tangles of voices. Telling stories emanating from a human transforming into a cockroach, Marina Warner’s research into Metamorphosis and a biological account of the anatomy of a cockroach - pulled together by Katrina Palmer’s End Matter, taking the listener to Portland where a very slow transformation took place a long long time ago.    


Moving Image and Audio
Cover image

To be Somewhere Else written was as an alternative to Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Drawing from a desire to be elsewhere, the short story became the foundation for the moving image work, To be Something Else. The process of writing provided a structure from which breakages were forged – splitting apart the text, its form, content and meaning. Forming the beginnings of the central themes of recognising the agency of nonhumans and the pulling closer together of text and nonhuman forms to expand on the material meaning of text.