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ARTIST

Ulla Deventer

FOMU Fotomuseum
Selected in
2019
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Ulla Deventer, born 1984 in Germany, holds a Master of Fine Arts and is an international working artist and research candidate at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerp.
Since 2019, she became part of TIME-LABS: Cuba Photography Missions, a research project in Havana, Cuba, supported by VLIR-UOS Belgium and in collaboration with European and Cuban photographers and the Instituto Superior de Arte Havana.
Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been supported by several scholarships and awards. It has been selected for the “Ones to Watch” by the BJP, as well as for the .tiff talents by the Fotomuseum Antwerp. She studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg, the Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts de Lyon and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp.
In her works, Deventer questions the interdependencies of women on social norms. She explores the female body, ideas of beauty, taboos, and sexuality. Recently, she has been involved in international research on sex work, based in Brussels, Athens, Paris and Accra.

Throughout my practical and theoretical based art, I work across mediums, with a focus on photography. I explore forms of the female body, ideas of beauty, desires, taboos and sexuality. Subsequently, I analyze the interdependencies of women on social norms. I am interested in how society shapes norms that influence the representation and perception of women and how the female body can be used as a tool of power.

Sex workers are sensitive observers of our society, especially about what we do not dare to see. Thus, I consider this work a reflection on society as a whole. Sex is at first place about pleasure, desire and lust, addiction and ecstasy. At the same time, it is about power, about hierarchies, about interrelationships of men and women. It appears that the female body becomes a political weapon. How we live and talk about sex says much about our taboos and fantasies and finally how society is created by a world that exists by judging the unknown instead of listening to each other.

I am grateful for every single conversation and the time I could spend with the women who became part of this work. I cannot express in words how much they taught me about life, about our society and finally about myself.

I did not believe how much we have in common. I found my soulmates in these women who are not only crucial for the existence of this body of work, but close friends that I don ‘t want to miss anymore.

With this work I share some personal insights that truly are my own observations and therefor fully subjective on this topic. It is a collection of images and notes from women I admire and who I met in Brussels, Athens, Paris and Accra.