Annelies Kamen’s work engages with language and humour, playing with the power dynamics of joke-making.
By employing jokes as an artistic methodology, Kamen allows for the nearly simultaneous apprehension of two conflicting realities to exist in objects and images – creating not just comic objects, but comedian-objects. Comedian-objects are pragmatic, as an object that tells a joke must function with a minimum of fuss. Kamen’s research also encompasses the historiographical exploration of jokes in visual culture. To make a joke, one must voluntarily cede power to an audience, and the comedian must in a sense be able to afford that temporary loss of power. Working from a feminist perspective, Kamen consciously engages with this relationship of power and jokes by freely claiming and relinquishing the power to be pathetic.