Erika Roux

erikarvb@gmail.com
+31 6 16 32 80 06

Born 1991, Paris, FR. I am an artist based in Rotterdam. I graduated with a Master in Fine Art from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam in 2017 and hold a Bachelor in Fine Art from Gerrit Rietveld, Amsterdam. Besides my individual artistic practice I currently co-run Wet, a video art collective based in Rotterdam.

With an experimental approach to cinematic methods, story-telling and observational modes of filming I investigate the complexities embedded in relationships, identities and interactions within a society that shapes them.
I play with the ambiguity of audiovisual language borrowing its formulas and structures, collaborating with non professional actors, incorporating elements of improvisation. My work consists of either absurd fictive scenes or at other times documentary materials. In both cases, the camera functions as an apparatus that summons the subject to perform while also being a recording tool of the unfolding processes; the ones of producing the artwork and performing within it. The scenes or stories that I orchestrate become plays between performance and rehearsal. I pay attention to the fluctuation and disruptions within acting and constructing narratives. I consider the moments of becoming and hesitations as crucial elements within my work because they allow the outcome or conclusion to remain in constant negotiation but most importantly because it gives space to different forms of communication and reflection to happen.

With the voices of the undecided musicians

2020 (in progress)
in progress

With the voices of the undecided musicians is a work in progress, a video project that focuses on an all female music band named Difficult (https://difficultband.bandcamp.com/releases). This video combines a documentary approach relating the musical practice of the band Difficult, looking closely at the feminist and subversive potential contained in their musical practice, together with a lyrical consideration on struggles and desires within women creative and personal development.
The band is composed of untrained musicians; they embrace on stage and in their composition their amateurism by making the cracks, hesitations and mistakes visible to the audience. In that sense, they destabilize the traditional image of the musician. This video looks at how nuanced and unassertive modes of being can carry a powerful and subversive potential; in the Difficult’s case it is an empowering feminist message. The footages are mainly composed of the bands developing process of composing songs. The songs are composed through improvisation and jamming, the lyrics are glimpses of their personal communal experiences. Focusing on their musical process unfolding in front of the camera, the viewer is invited to look at a vulnerable but generative situation. Non-verbal communication, musical elements, empathy and affect are intertwined, revealing many complexities that the resulting music track won’t ever expose.

Petals in the Ring

2019
HD video, 6 min 25 sec

Operating on a boundary of separation between the human and vegetal world (Roux’s garden), Petals in the Ring is a speculative attempt to make a connection between cultivation, forms of living and non-human existence.
With a lyrical approach, the video reflects on plant intelligence and the intersections of the erotic and the botanical.

Vanitas

2019
HD video, 17 min 38 sec

Vanitas portrays four, unemployed characters in the future: a singer, a what-naut, a gamer and an office building. Revolving around the characters’ observations, it wonders about the transient and often meaningless seeming nature of human activity.
The video was shot in an empty office building situated in the center of Rotterdam. It borrows from the genre of science fiction its aesthetic and narrative methods as tools to discuss on the relation of human lives to new technology and disappearance or redefinition of work, as well as timeless matters such as loneliness, alienation and mortality.
The dialogue is inspired by the real life of the video makers and actors, transferred into a fictive and speculative reality. Built on a loose script containing speech, singing and movement, the actors are asked to improvise based on given characters

The world has shrank

2018
HD video, 14'42"

The World Has Shrank is a play set in the apartment where I lived. Non-professional actors become characters trapped in a shrinking apartment. The enacted text borrows linguistic and narrative tropes of tragic drama, clichés and platitudes used in an absurd manner. The scene evoke with minimal means an apocalyptic and unsolvable situation in which the characters seem to be stuck together.
Set in a social house in Rotterdam, a city undergoing huge level of gentrification, in a time of climate collapse and neoliberal individualism, the video echoes a multifaceted feeling of anxiety. However, this feeling can be nuanced by the collaborative aspect of the work made visible by the intimacy of the setting and the playful participation of my artists friends.

A Couple Things

2017
HD video, two channel installation, 10’32”

On a double screen installation, two larger than life teenagers embody by means of improvisation a couple in crises in the décor of a middle class British living room. The camera functions here as a tool that summons the two actors to perform a reality that they haven’t experienced yet. The improvised dialogue highlights their constructed visions of what romantic relationship between adults might be.

Paladins

2017
Three channel video installation, three looping videos

The word “paladins” has multiple meanings; it can refer to a warrior, a trusted knight, or a leader of a cause, in French it could also mean a wandering knights.
The work presented is a three channel video installation constructed as three short looping scenes working separately but still in conversation with each other.
Although the all female characters being depicted in these scenes embody roles conceived as strong position in traditional cinematic narratives (an office manager, adventurous travellers and a musician), the protagonists are trapped in an endless loop of ineffective actions, cinematic clichés and unresolved plot. The inextricability of the situations suggests a sense of determinism in cinematic narrative methods and the hierarchies at play in the distribution of roles within gender.

Balkon van Europa

2018
HD video 16:9, 14’27’’

The video is entirely shot in the bar. The camera is moving across surfaces– showing bar’s interiors, clientele, and looking out of the windows into the open sea. A female protagonist inhabits the space. The images of boats passing by, customers coming in and out, multiple clocks, optical instruments and maritime souvenirs, slowly turning turbine wind mills are bouncing back and forth between reflective surfaces. The act of looking out simultaneously becomes the act of looking inside.

At the window, on the bed, behind the door

2017
HD video, 10’00”

While filming my bedroom with my camera, I am gradually improvising stories that the space could contain. I am here playing with the idea of creating intuitive scripts by considering an intimate space as a place for experimenting with fiction.

Roommates

2016
looping installation, 10'02"

The work Roomates is a video installation composed of 5 looping videos. The main video is placed in the centre, showing a conversation between two roommates, Alice and Vikki. They are lying on a bed, talking about daily life banalities. This video is surrounded by 4 vignettes that are continuously looping, displaying Vikki enacting daily routines.

Yo Lo Conozco

2015
HD video, 28’

Wandering around in the streets of Belalcázar, a small town in Spain, Erika Roux took pictures of strangers encountered on the road. Asking the inhabitants to react on these pictures in front of the camera, she is collecting stories and expressions, depicting the way people relate to each other in a small village and how they share this with a stranger.

Celui qui

2014
HD video, 2’58”

I filmed my friends having a casual lunch together. Without being aware of it they embody characters from a novel I have read from Françoise Sagan, named Dans un mois, dans un an. The melancholy from the characters of Françoise Sagan interferes with the atmosphere of the situation and the perception of the persons being filmed, changing the moment into a fictional story.

Playing the Father, the Son

2014
HD video, 9’32”

I asked my father to re-enact with me the theatre play of Marcel Pagnol called Marius. In the story of Pagnol, Marius is the son of Cesar, I play Marius, and my father plays Cesar. By trying to embody these fictional characters, the enactment insinuates parallels between the fictional story and the relation I have with my father.

Diesmal kannst du mich erkennen

2013
HD video, 6’00”

My family is bilingual: we speak both French and German. By filming the moments before, during and after a diner I wanted to observe the different interactions between people. Families are specific in their formal aspect of relationship, where everyone is supposed to have his own position. By re-enacting all the voices from the different family members I found a way to appropriate all the different identities.

Psyche and Cupid

2013
HD video, 5’15”

These two hands are from Cupid and Psyche, detail of a marble sculpture from Antonio Canova I saw for the first time in the Hermitage museum. My father and his girlfriend seemed the perfect couple to re-enact the image of Psyche offering her soul to love. The aim of the artist, the understanding of its model and the final result of the work never succeeded to join into a satisfying outcome. In this video, I wanted to show the constant frustration in the attempt of representation.