Concrete bellies, buttocks and breasts.
Upon my arrival, Amsterdam-based artist Romy Yedidia greets me with a welcoming grin. Located in the collaborative work-space cluster of ISO, her electrifying charisma and energy fill up the studio, where shelves run along the walls and up to the ceiling, housing all kinds of metal and wooden frames and profiles, neatly labeled white boxes, plaster casts and other objects that I cannot immediately recognize. “I installed all the storage myself!” the artist tells me, while my eyes wander along the practical arrangement of the room. Observing Yedidia’s work, the fact that she has a high degree of physical strength and a natural inclination to construct comes as no surprise, as her practice employs architectural materials and involves corporeal vigor. As a testament to her past performances, concrete bellies, breasts, buttocks, legs, and torsos are stacked above our heads. Buckets of plaster, along with real-size body casts and female profile-shaped cornices can also be found waiting for their turn to be rolled out of the building and transported to an exhibition space. Handling fast-hardening substances dictates a structured way of operating, requiring the precision to manufacture moulds or life-cast body parts. When inquired about her routines, Yedidia explains how highly productive hours are energized by dark chocolate, electronic music, and hot coffee. On rare occasions, when testing specific mediums, Yedidia prefers podcasts to accompany her in what she calls the “exploration mode.” Although more mentally taxing, moments of experimentation and relinquishing control over processes allow for the necessary breakthroughs, as “one needs to get lost to find one’s way.”