Hedwig Houben’s performance-based works consider the complex relations between objects and their makers, looking to deconstruct the identities of both. Can you really tell something about an individual persona through something that they have made? To what extent do our relations to objects play a role in the formation of selfhood? Can an object also have a biography? Considering notions of identity formation from more phenomenological and psychoanalytical perspectives, her videos document performances that often present the artist talking from the perspective of the third person in narrative dialogue with herself the artist and the sculptures she has made. Often this dialogue happens whilst she is even in the process of making or transforming the object. This ‘relational’ understanding between each – the narrator, the artist and the object – becomes the subject of the work, opening up ideas for identities beyond the traditional hermetic biography of a person.
(text by Nav Haq, 2014)