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The Flower That Smiles Today, 2023
In this performance the the song fills the space up like a bouquet of voices. Inspired by the exhibition “Door de Lens van Bas Meeuws” at Royal Delft (Porceleine Fles) and its use of the painting compositions of still lifes during the Dutch golden age, especially focussing on flowers. In The Netherlands flowers symbolised Memento Mori, remember that life is short, fleeting, like a flower.
The flower that smiles today
Is the dream that counts tomorrow
She leaves as we leave through
Until we find something new
The flower that smiles today
Sung at old love refrained with sorrow
So she gleaned a new wonder on you
And now her dream can wonder too
Performance piece made for the exhibition ‘We Once Were One’ by Femmy Otten, 2 hours, 2023
Photos made by Aad Hoogendoorn. This performance was made for the first solo exhibition of Femmy Otten in the Netherlands. It was a collaboration where Otten had created the visual elements and Betist the audible. Standing for two hours in a pit that was filled with human hair. She sang a song of about 2 minutes long, various instances spread throughout the evening.
The song written by Betist:
Als de liefde niet meer zou zijn
Dan heerst de wederkeer van de pijn
Maar ben ik niet alleen
Want die pijn heerst over iedereen
En alleen daarom
hoop ik op deze som
Zodat ik ooit niet alleen hoef te zijn
Want alleen dan denk ik niet aan jou
En aan jou
En aan jou
En aan jou…
A Picnic, 4 mins, 2023
A male singer sings a song written from a female perspective
With this work Betist tries to escape her own identity as a female performance artist, by handing out a song she would otherwise sing herself.
There’s a Balance in the Choir / There’s Imbalance in the Choir, 10-15 min, 2022
Photos made by Anastasia Troshkova. In this performance, Betist is accompanied by a different classically trained singer every day, for five days. The performance starts in imbalance as the singers do not know the lyrics, melody and intensity, while the artist has no experience with live song. At the start of the performance, Betist sings the first lines repeatedly until the other singer feels like she has a grip over the piece, at which she will join in. Through mirroring and repetition they change the sung monologue of feelings into a dialogue of reactions. The rhythm, tempo and feel changes as the performance continues.
The space in which the performance will be held is usually closed during the graduation show. Placed in it are (neo-)classicist/baroque plaster sculptures that were made by and for men, as they were used during drawing lessons. Classes that only men could attend. The interesting thing is that women were only allowed to study “teacher of drawing” at the academy, rather than drawing itself (or anything else artistic for that matter). It is really a male dominated space. Therefore, the fact that two women will perform the work with each other is stressed. So that there would exist a temporal sculpture of song echoing through the space. A female counter voice in the midst of male gazes aiming to find balance in the (re)presented imbalance of the space and score.
The title refers to the presence of male dominance in both Betist’s personal life as well as the Gipsenzaal, the room in which the performance is held. Historically, the plaster sculptures in this room were acquired for drawingclasses that only men were allowed to attend. Women could follow courses to become “Teacher of Drawing”, they were not allowed to study any artistic practice. The performance aims to leave a female countervoice, through a sculpture of song. Attempting to find balance in imbalance. The performances were sung together with Diamanto Katerina, Bruna Pereira, Dārta Liepina & Alessandra Marangon.
A Song on their Soil, 10 min, 2022
In this performance piece Betist sings on the soil under where her grandfather is buried, the grave of her grandmother can be seen in the background of the video. The song she creates in under 10 minutes, referring to famous songs that were written in under 10 minutes, ’the story goes’. She sings this together with her sister.
An Unexpected Song, 3 min, 2022
During this performance Betist invited a crowd of about 15 people to enter a chapel that is often used for grand works of art, as it has a tall ceiling and wide white walls.
She drew a white line on the floor of the space, separating herself from the audience that was now standing opposite her. She asked for a volunteer, who stepped forward, passing the white line. The volunteer was turned around so that Betist was facing him only. She then started to sing a song for him, one that was not meant or written for him, but that was now only his to receive. The rest of the audience only had his response to view, resulting the song to become more sculptural.
A Game of Power, sculpture, 2021
As part of the pre-grad show from the Royal Academy of Art ‘As Is Where Is‘.
This work showcased a abandoned scene wherein a family of 4 had been playing a game. The rules were written on the piece of paper inside the typewriter. On first look it seems like a lovely family board game. but upon reading the game-rules, you realise that all 4 players had been given different rules, disabling some players to ever win, while enabling other players to only win.
For Private Guests Only, durational, 2019
For this work the idea of positional power was tested out. Three artists were spread around the space during the event the Haagsche Museumnacht, they were there to serve drinks for ‘special guests only’. This is also the line they said when anyone would approach the serving tray. But of course, these special guests never came… so the three artists decided to empty the beverages themselves.
Three Envelopes, 5 min, 2020
In this performance Betist was dressed as an accounted guide, allowing people to enter the space one by one. When they entered they had to choose between three envelopes. The envelopes read as following: “See the artwork”, “Immerse in the artwork” and “Own the artwork”. The performance was recorded and live-casted as a projection on the wall.
1. See the artwork: Walk towards the video projection on the wall
2. Immerse in the artwork: Keep yourself in the frame of the video (you will see it projected on the wall)
3. Own the artwork: Walk towards the accounted guide and ask her about the idea behind this work
Power Blazer, participatory, 2020
Members of audience were asked to hang their blazers/coats/jackets on the clothing rack choosing a spot between the both ends that read ‘us’ and ’them’.
An Empty Seat, sculpture/participatory, 2018
The way you can sometimes feel like you fill a space, but there’s not really someone there.