Matthijs Uivel

Publieksprijswinnaar IPFL 2017-2018

For Killing Character

After reading the acclaimed book L’Etranger by Albert Camus, I found striking similarities in how the protagonist Meusault seems to relate (or lose his relation to) other and the way I deal with emotional attachments from an autism perspective. I found a way of understanding my own inabilities of dealing with love and care, that ultimately also allowed me to find a better balance between the expectancies of others and my own need for isolation. I wanted to celebrate the book, to offer a kind of visual translation in a language that I feel comfortable with.

The series, after the story of the stranger, shows hidden character, alienated monsters, hiding from the world. Flowers in the image called ‘for Marie’, as tribute, a token of appreciation and understanding. Caves and cellars, the beach, uncanny vegetation, a library of books about law.

The series talks about alienation, the lack of contact, isolation and hidden monsters. About the freedom from attachments, and through that also, the loss of identity and the killing of character.

I want my work to linger, to cut into the consensus of the ‘spirit’ of things. To show how shifting points of view act on the authenticity of the ordinary. Investigating how we can find ways to further suspend disbelief and how to uncover intent.

As a (re)searcher I am looking for tales of isolation, detachment, loneliness. Deeply interested in the difference between a collective- and a personal allocation of importance. Translating a visual ekphrasis of revolt against relationships. Sharing non-linear stories with hidden meanings.

I want to create work that slowly crystallises into a force that dents your understanding of the world, in an attempt to poetically multiply the emotion of recognition. As something heavy and pressing, something sublime. Something nauseatingly real-like but at the same time only softly outlined and questionable; strange but comforting. Strangely lingering after seeing, and intensely, in the archive of our deposits. 


Matthijs Uivel
b. 07-02-1982
Harlingen, The Netherlands

Studied at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and the Royal Academy for Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium

Matthijs Uivel works with combining photography and archival material through research, combining them into the fictional document. Generating works that take from the real only a sliver, reframing them to serve a highly introvert and dualistic discourse. A struggle between wanting to exhibit and wanting to hide from the world. Isolation and the disconnect are central theme’s in Uivel’s work, taking inspiration from theme’s such as Counter Culture, Lonerism music and French Existentialist literature.

Contact details:
Matthijs Uivel
Oostenburgermiddenstraat 687 1018 LH
The Netherlands

+31 6 41116488