- PhDArts Researcher
- Visual arts, Mixed media
Ruchama Noorda (Leiden, 1979) is an artist who uses diverse media and materials in performances and installations. She was awarded a BA in Visual Art at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in 2002 and completed her MFA at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam in 2004. In 2002 her video piece “Annunciatie” “(Annunciation)” was acquired by the Museum het Domein in Sittard. In 2008 she installed ‘Statisch Vooruitgangsmonument’ (‘Static Monument to Progress’) across 5 rooms in the Museum De Lakenhal’s Project Space in Leiden in which she combined selected works from the Museum’s De Stijl collection with her own specially designed ceramic pieces and items from the artist’s personal collection of Anthroposophical artifacts. The exhibition juxtaposed ideas of progress-through-design alongside occult elements within modernism to produce a space in which the desire for an all-encompassing ideology of transformation was materialized within a subjective historical framework.
Since 2009 Noorda has been enrolled in the PhDArts program at the University of Leiden where she is researching the impact across the arts and culture in Europe and the USA of the early 20th century Lebensreform (Life Reform) movement. In her practice Noorda recycles elements of Reform pedagogy, arts, crafts, dance, diet and ritual practices in performance and installation works that both engage and challenge contemporary communitarian and counter-cultural aspirations, practices and beliefs. By highlighting the mystical and magical elements within the Reform tradition along with other undigested and ‘irrational’ material her works perform a séance-function- excavating, the repressed and buried histories within the Modern in ways that set out to complicate hard and fast distinctions between progressive and conservative social and artistic movements. In recent works such as “Asocialen” (“Asocials”) [Diepenheim, 2012] this concern with first principles has led her to engage with basic materials like dirt and mud as she hosts transformative invented rituals in temporary structures built literally from the ground up.