Jennifer Tee, performance Let it Come Down, 2017. In partnership with choreographer Miri Lee

Nadja is one of the iconic novels from André Breton, dated 1962. The character is his alleged lover and prostitute, who lends the name to the book. According to Jennifer Tee her art motto is “soul in limbo”. The protagonist of the novel also stated: “I am the soul in limbo”. Who knows what a soul is? This question ties in one of the last exhibitions by Jennifer Tee, from the Netherlands, which will be at the 33rd Bienal de São Paulo, next September, with work not yet defined. The artist works with sculptures, tapestries, performances, objects spread on the floor, suspended in the air, readings, performances, but keeping space for the public to circulate and live their state of limbo.

By appropriating Western literature, Jennifer, once again, reinforces her creative process by highlighting a hybrid multicultural territory, built from needs, which can even be The Soul in Limbo, a recurring theme. The concept of limbo is not interpreted only by a spatial portion, but by a complex relationship and can have different interpretations. Jennifer Tee also uses this concept in her collages of dried tulip petals, which are symbols of her own diaspora origin. Born in 1973, in Arnhem, Holland, to a mother of English and Dutch descent, grandfather and great-grandfather, former tulip growers. Her father, Indonesian, went to Holland by ship and this whole story reflects strongly in her imagination. Jennifer Tee may be apparently fragile, but her work allows her to transcend her personality with great force and energy, especially in the readings and choreographed performances that tend to attract young people, artists or not.

Jennifer makes an ongoing negotiation between esoteric ideas and the materiality of objects, often working with artifacts and cultural symbols. “I like to work with materials that always have a presence and that also have cultural meaning.” Her thinking moves between Eastern philosophies and Western culture and, as she moves from one shore to the other, in this continuous navigation, she often delves into literary texts influenced by the Theosophist Helena Blavatsky and the artists Wassily Kandinsky and Hilma af Klint.

Jennifer Tee is not just an interpreter, she researches crafts, sculpture, performance and collage to come up with concepts of cultural heritage. Her universe splits into a more personal part in which she devotes herself to tulip petals and stage installations that examine a fusion of Eastern and Western supernatural concepts, including occultism and Taoism. “I found that if I made a collage with these petals, they would look like a weave. I arrived at a pattern that can be recognized in other cultures, there are similarities.”

By bringing together disparate narratives, it proposes the union of artists and stands against the notions of individualism and separation defended by Western modernity, which emphasizes the artist's autonomy and the supposed lack of purpose of works of art. On the contrary, it prioritizes, especially, the collective experience and the overcoming or destruction of borders.

His installations are steeped in esoteric spirituality, celebrating all the connotations that come from craftsmanship, creating talismanic objects that suggest the human presence around them. His ceramic wall pieces, some with names like Tao Magic, have shapes and surfaces that resemble something between the astrological and the geological.

In his exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre, let it down, title taken from a book by Shakespeare, she created a performance with contemporary dancers who perform on the sculptures executed in crystal, placed on the floor. “I used pieces on the floor as platforms to explore the soul in limbo and to have choreography and then objects in space become activated,” explains Jennifer Tee. The artist uses crystal because it is a surface that can be multiplied.

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