Photographer: Charlotte van Ruijven

Alida van Gool (1986) is a visual artist who lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Between her birth and her seventh birthday she moved house five times, including four times across the Atlantic Ocean: back and forth between the Netherlands, Curacao and Aruba. She learned to make use of constantly changing environments, influences and circumstances at a very young age. 


Equipped with a sensitivity to fantasy, the outer world became raw material, yet to be assimilated and constructed into something new; something more truthful to her experience that perceiving and conceiving happen simultaneously.


Liminality became a constant state of being. She searched for ways to explore the qualities of our experiences and scrutinize the boundaries of our perceptions. She studied Arts and Culture Studies (BA, MA) at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, and graduated from the Fotoacademie Amsterdam; making her approach toward art both conceptual and personal.


She draws on psychoanalytical, philosophical and historical frameworks as well as her own experiences to explore and depict liminality and our relationship to it. She uses different media and techniques (e.g. video, photography, text, screen printing, collage) to translate the amalgam of hope, fear, expectation, tension, uncertainty and curiosity, so characteristic of transitions, into visible and invisible traces of construction and deconstruction.


‘Limen’ is the Latin word for threshold. All our experiences have a certain liminal quality: they are an encounter between reality and fantasy. We find ourselves continuously and simultaneously part of two worlds, and in the midst of an eternal transformation.


Our minds work hard at fooling us, so that we experience ourselves and our environment as something relatively unambiguous and fixed, something irrefutably established. My work is an ongoing (visual) deep dive into liminality and the mental ‘cutting and pasting’ that we continuously perform.



I love to delve into psychoanalytic and philosophical theories, as well as myths, fairy and folktales. From these frameworks,  and using various techniques and media, I construct and deconstruct material that I either make or find until something new emerges that straddles the threshold between the actual and the imagined.


In my work our permanent residence in intermediate spaces becomes visible. It challenges rigid, one-sided, rational self- and world views and questions assumptions about an unwavering reality. My work invites the viewer to relate to the liminal as a constant presence in our lives, and to the tendency of our minds to alter our experiences and impressions.


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