The Replacement Project

The Replacement Project

by Karina Beumer


Because visual artist Karina Beumer has a writer’s block, she posts a vacancy for a replacement for herself. She wonders if she has a personality without her profession. Could someone else fill in her personality? 63 people apply and a selection of 17 receive an individual audition assignment. Karina finds out that the applicants had different motives for applying: They want to escape themselves by embodying someone else. Do you dare more in someone else’s shoes? The roles are slowly shifting. Karina slowly learns that she needs to give up not only her email password and studio, but her entire identity, her lover, friends and family for the project to succeed. Will she literally disappear in her work? What started as a playful action turns into an existential search for taking up space in work and life.

Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing.

— Aísōpos 620 BC – 564 BC

About Karina Beumer

Karina Beumer’s interactive artistic practice is brought to life by being in conversation with — or captivated by — something or someone else. Beumer searches for an absurd and surreal relationship between the inside of the head (thoughts, miscommunication) and the physical world (language, networks). In a dream-like universe she connects banal issues with personal fantasies, using strategies from existing structures such as pop songs, blockbusters and live action role playing.

I would not say that substance exists for the sake of appearance, or faces for the sake of masks, or the passions for the sake of poetry and virtue. Nothing arises in nature for the sake of anything else; all these phases and products are involved equally in the round of existence.

— George Santayana, Soliloquies in England and Later Soliloquies, p.131-132, 1922