Emily Kocken (1963) is a writer and multidisciplinary artist with a background in music and philosophy.

In her novels, essays, drawings, performances and discursive activities, she reflects on what resonates between language and image and the hidden worlds behind it.

By relocating separate elements from different sources in a new work that she defines as an energy field, new or, conversely, old connections can emerge, a fabric of surreal relationships between the concrete, the immaterial and the ideal. Not knowing, thinking to know, repeating, not being able to, judging, discussing, copying, being mistaken, hyperspecialism, autodidactism, remembering, forgetting, lightness, darkness, are equivalent in Kocken’s method. The development of new work, whether writing a book or making a drawing, takes place within a ritual work structure.

Her multidisciplinary oeuvre unfolds slowly during the creative process, but also in the final presentations, introducing a new gray area between fiction and non-fiction, through multilingual projects full of ominous confrontations.

Her debut novel White Flag (Querido, 2013) was nominated for the Academica Literature Prize, her second novel De kuur (Querido, 2017) was shortlisted for the Halewijn Prize. In 2021, Publisher Querido published her third novel Lalalanding about a young thinker in Paris, which was praised in Trouw as ‘a magical and airy fabric around heavy, realistic themes’.

In 2015 she developed Come Go Stay, a collaboration with the Dutch art institute West Den Haag, an art installation that showed the outcomes of her training of a prize-winning king poodle, accompanied by public reading salons, with the aim of getting closer to the spirit of Gertrud’s Stein work Sacred Emily. This work was also part of the group exhibition Am I an animal in 2017 in Museum Hedendaagse Kunst De Domijnen in Sittard.

She lives in Loenen aan de Vecht and works in Amsterdam.

Author Photos