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Emily & Silas, Come-Go-Stay, 2015
Emily Kocken

Solo exhibition

Exhibition: Saturday 10.10.2015 until Saturday 21.11.2015
Opening with performance: Saturday 10 October, 5 pm
Extra: Salon Sémiotique’ Sunday 8 November, 7 pm

Artist Emily Kocken and a poodle groomed for perfection bring to life Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily where new relations between the concrete, the immaterial, and the ideal emerge. The artist’s elegant performance installation Come-Go-Stay articulates a world full of idiosyncratic interpretations of surreal signs of life.
For West, Kocken’s performance installation revolves around semiotics, and in particular semantics: the relation between signs and their meanings. The components of the exhibition include a ready-made, a drawing, video, performance, and a book that radiate from evocative work of Gertrude Stein. Kocken’s multidisciplinary oeuvre slowly unfurls itself in the practice of making as well as its final manifestations.

The artist’s careful attention and slow burning supplication for performance and language is located Come-Go-Stay that began years ago with a photograph of Stein, her partner, and their poodle. The love between the famous writer and her non-human friend stayed with Kocken, whose work is literary, expressive, and performative. This is found in her new video work where the artist and a multi-awarded, highly intelligent standard poodle perform. Similar to her recent performance work Read-In Cinema where a script of an iconic film is recomposed as choreographic score for a chorus of almost identical actors, the artist infers commands from poem Sacred Emily by Stein that are performed by her and the magnificently groomed poodle. The body of the artist and the body of the animal take on a hybrid form as often occurs with complete trust and understanding in a strong partnership. A live performance by the artist and the poodle will be given especially for the opening of Come-Go-Stay. The audience is invited into the artist’s world and the space that is created by the performance. Over time the work is carried out into daily life through a book IMPERATIVO! Femina e canino, authored by the artist conveying her world of hybrid forms and signs of life. Within the context of Come-Go-Stay, the audience is invited to ‘salon sémiotique’ a full evening program dedicated to the poem Sacred Emily on Sunday 8 November. (To RSVP or for more information kindly contact Eloise Sweetman at

Since 2000, artist and writer Emily Kocken (1963, New York) has been working on a multidisciplinary oeuvre. In 2013, she made her debut at the Dutch publishing house Querido with her novel Witte Vlag (White Flag), in which the conflict between artist and wife forms center stage, and with a dying dog as catalyst. In her work, she introduces a new grey field between fiction and non-fiction via multilingual projects filled with ominous confrontations. Kocken is the co-founder of Zero Art Collective in Amsterdam. Her debut novel is a resounding success and as such she is currently working on her second book.
We are pleased to invite you to the opening reception of the exhibition on Saturday 10.10.2015 at 5 pm.

For press photos and more info, you can contact Marie-José Sondeijker: