The TickJosefin Arnell in Het Oog (The Eye)
The Tick is a sculpture by Swedish artist Josefin Arnell. Arnell’s tick is a giant, mutated and monstrous insect. The Tick is a continuation of Arnell’s series of recent work where she investigates the insect. The insect is a carrier of multiple viruses that can spread to humans, the most notorious being different borrelia viruses, which can cause serious damage to the human nerve system, like Lyme’s disease. Global warming has led to a radical increase in the numbers of ticks. As winters are not cold enough anymore, ticks survive the winter period huddled together and spread in spring and summer time like an epidemic.
In The Tick, Arnell plays with the metaphor of global, ecological threats that change the balance between socio-political relationship and nature, humanity and economics. This horror scenario is reinforced by the insect – it is large, mutated and can be activated by touch.
Winner Theodora Niemeijer prize 2018
Josefin Arnell is the winner of the 2018 Theodora Niemeijer prize, an award for emerging female artists living or working in the Netherlands. The prize is awarded once every two years to an artist who submits the best project proposal for The Eye, an oval shaped patio in the Van Abbemuseum. The Theodora Niemeijer prize is the only Dutch prize for visual arts specifically dedicated to female artists. The prize was introduced in 2012 by Stichting Niemeijer Fonds and the Van Abbemuseum, because female artists are still in the minority in exhibitions and museum collections.
The jury of the Theodora Niemeijer Prize felt inspired by the world Arnell tries to create. They find the tension between the playful- and youthfulness on the one hand and the darker side which draws into human fear, fascinating. The ambiguous charm tickles the imagination.
Special thanks to
Josefin Arnell (1984) works and lives in Amsterdam. She holds an BA from the Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm and an MA from the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam. In 2015/2016 she participated in the two year residency program at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten Amsterdam.