Merel Smitt


Merel Smitt

“Recent projects consist of imaginary bureaucratic organisations with a social and political background. I come up with these organisations myself, I design them, write their vision and pretend they are real. With this I try to reduce large social and societal processes to a human scale. I expose the effect of bureaucratic systems on human behaviour and the way we interact. Therefor it sometimes looks like a social experiment, a game, a score or hacking.”

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Merel (NL) (1987) is an artist working in the performing arts. In 2014 she graduated from the theateracademy Maastricht in the directing department. She builds theatrical installations and interventions in the public space. Her work is site-specific and the audience, knowingly and unknowingly, participates in various ways being actively present and co-creating with her.

In her work she hijacks, exposes and disrupts political and social systems within our society. The impact of her work lies within the participatants, how they as human beings cope under the manipulation of these systems, how it influences their behavior and interactions towards each other.

The border between fiction and non-fiction is diffuse. You can come across one of her projects in situations or settings you don’t expect art to happen or during your everyday life. This leads to doubt within the participants about what is real and what is made up. The creation of doubt is very important because it leads to actual reflection and questioning.

To shape the actual and artistic content she collaborates with performers, graphic designers, webdesigners and form the content by researching different perspectives of philosophers, government and social workers, company’s and experts. Her work is very much interdisciplinary and not to be called just theater. It is performative but it is also participatory, graphical, visual and sometimes even activism.