Sanding Time

After watching the movie China Blue in 2012, the artist was confronted with the impact of her spending habits. The fact that she bought several pairs of blue jeans a year, was contributing to a corrupt system. She saw the uncensored truth; 14 year olds working shifts as long as 24 hours, in order for the factories to keep up with Western demands. Getting paid close to nothing, only able to visit their families once a year, if they were lucky. Repeating the same mind numbing tasks day after day, 7 days a week with an average of 4 hours of sleep a day. Talking and drinking was restricted because it would lead to diminished productivity and unnecessary toilet breaks.

This knowledge was grounds for several projects. In the performance ‘Sanding Time’, Ivi van Keulen immerses herself in the seemingly useless and destructive task of sanding down a chair with only sandpaper.

The chair she is sanding down is the iconic scrap wood chair, designed by Piet Hein Eek. Made locally under good working conditions with fair pay. The scrap wood chair is made from re-used pieces of wood. It is a timeless piece that is well put together. Ivi can attest to its durability.


Ivi van Keulen sanded for nine consecutive days during Dutch Design Week 2019 at MU Artspace.


Dave Menkehorst


The Object is Absent


MU Artspace


October 31, 2019


Performance Art