Emily Kocken (1963) is a writer and artist.

Her debut novel White Flag (Querido, 2013) was nominated for the Academica Literature Prize, De kuur (novel, Querido, 2017) was shortlisted for the Halewijn Literature Prize. Lalalanding (novel, 2021) about a young thinker in Paris, praised Trouw as ‘an equally magical and airy fabric around heavy, realistic themes’. She writes essays for De Gids and makes artists’ books, including with independent publisher Jap Sam Books. In her drawings, installations, and philosophical activities, she reflects on what resonates between language and image. Her work introduces a new gray area between fiction and non-fiction, through multidisciplinary projects full of ominous confrontations.

In 2015 she made Come Go Stay (art institution West Den Haag) a video installation about the relationship between humans and animals, inspired by the text Sacred Emily by Gertrud Stein. With this work she participated in the group exhibition Am I an animal in 2017 in Museum for Contemporary Art De Domijnen in Sittard.

Amsterdam gallery C&H art space (later C&H Gallery) represented her as an artist from 2010 to 2018, after which she presented her work through The Hague gallery Lauwer (Anna Elisabeth Kruyswijck) until 2021.

In 2023 she made Le Livre, a language installation with live performances, discussions and a publication about the obscure magnus opus of the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. In her most recent work, The Shape of Being, she explores the intimate relationship between form and writing, from Barbapappa-esque blobs, symbolic floral motifs to spells, blind sentences and crooked words.

In 2024 she will participate in the art project 1 en 1 is 1 by Jos Houweling, which embraces the recent Documenta idea and wants to celebrate collaboration between creatives. As a coach, she guides artists in their careers and when writing grant applications, but a broader clientele also knows how to find her as a motivator.

Born in New York (1963), she lived in the US until she was seven, then her family moved to the Netherlands.

She lives and works in Loenen aan de Vecht.

See CV.

Author Photos