(de)Fine Art

Scripted Reality

Kee van der Meer
Practice Autonomous Practices
Project Public and Private
Major (de)Fine Art
Year Fourth Year

Nominee Drempelprijs Autonomous Practices 2020

Research, based on Ex on the Beach, My desire for public display of aggression and the dogs on the beaches of Morocco.



I know I may be young, but I’ve got feelings too,
And I need to do what I feel like doing,
So let me go, and just listen.

About the video

The past two years I have been researching the term scripted reality. During my research, I developed a fascination for the tv show Ex on the Beach, and for my research, I zoomed in on the characteristics of the show.

I focused on the fifth season, the ‘All-Star’ season. This season almost entirely exists out of verbal and physical violence, and although most people in my environment speak of pure disgust while watching the show, I got goosebumps.

I also noticed that Ex on the Beach represented, and commented on the female dilemma’s. That made the show a form of art for me. Just because of the role of the females in the show, it would have been banned from television fifty years ago. Now, it is incredibly popular. How’s that possible?

With the viewing figures, Ex on the Beach proved that it cuts into, and represents, relevant themes for young females, and it motivates them to think about the role of public aggression, rivalry, and competition in their own lives.  These young females are entering a previously male-only domain where they have to show new behaviour. To do so, the show offers them both positive as negative role models.

These characteristics make me want to look beyond the tackiness this series represent and make me question whether it might qualify as a modern farce.

The research into scripted reality begun during my trip to Morocco in 2018. For the video-installation material, I went back and - for nine days - have travelled along the coast where I met the dogs. I see the stray dogs as a metaphor for the public, the open, aggressive behaviour, competition, rivalry, but also for the loyalty of the female contestants of Ex on the Beach.

I know I may be young, but I’ve got feelings too, and I need to do what I feel like doing, so let me go, and just listen.

About the installation

The video installation is projected on two walls, that meet with an angle of 45 degrees.
The way the walls are used is based on the script of the video, that is divided into scenes where there’s a run-up to a fight, and scenes of the fight itself.

Editing my video about the strays in Morocco, I take on the same role as the editor of Ex on the Beach. Editing for every beamer allows the dogs to 'react' to each other, and move through the room. You let the dogs, it seems, behave according to the text.

With my work, I want to make the young female viewer aware of the way she, openly, expresses her aggression and handles competition as well as a rivalry.

Ex on the Beach installation