Venus Jasper (they/he) creates participatory performances, immersive and sensuous installations, music, and stories, all to forward ontological entanglements that provide space for (queer) embodiment and new stories of kinship and belonging with the natural world. Their projects activate the somatic intersections between ‘nature’, spirituality, magic, cultural identity, activism, queerness, and community. In their recent works, Jasper often operates as a hybrid between a nature priest and a sassy musician, immersing audiences in stories and multi-sensorial installations and highly detailed and handcrafted exhibitions that connect the folkloric world of the druids and nature spirits with the glamour of music concerts and modern ritual get-togethers.
They initiated a research project around Wetland Worship, focusing on swamps, bogs and fens, and other murky wetlands that are historically and currently drained and misused. In European myth and folklore, these liminal and often inaccessible zones are the terrain of elves, trolls, and other murky, semi-submerged entities and forgotten goddesses. In their latest show at Rupert, Vilnius, Venus presented a site-specific art installation in the form of a sacred indoor swamp, Murky Medicine Swamp (2023), which offered room for the ritual spoken-word song performance OAKBaLLZ and EELskin (Murky Murky, Little Bitch Witch) in which Jasper channeled the anger of the abandoned, marginal, dumped-upon, and drained wetlands. These works, wherein ecological and environmental alarms are lensed through the decline of storied belonging with the earth, aim to re-awaken our emotional and transformative kinship with the world.
Based in the Netherlands, Venus Jasper obtained an MFA from the Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam, in 2013. They made certified explorations of Somatic Psychotherapy, Reiki Healing, Music Production, Permaculture Design, Natural Building, and Speculative Writing. They are co-curator for RE_NATURE manifestation. Internationally they’ve shown at Rupert (LT), MuHKA(BE), Tidens Krav (NO), Grünerløkka Kunsthall (NO), OPYUM Festival (FR), Art Villa Garikula (GE), Gallery D.O.R. (BE), The Manse (USA), Te Whare Toi (NZ). In the Netherlands at MU — Hybrid Arthouse, Goethe Institute Rotterdam, Garage Rotterdam, Lustwarande, TENT, MELLY, Onomatopee, Het Nieuwe Instituut, Mediamatic, IMPAKT, W139, 1646 The Hague, and Kunsthuis SYB, amongst others.