Miriam Kruishoop

Miriam Kruishoop is an award winning writer/director and visual artist. Born in the Netherlands, she graduated with honors from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.

Kruishoop’s films, from the stylized features Vive Elle and Unter den Palmen, starring 70’s film icon Helmut Berger, to the politically conscious immigrant story Greencard Warriors, center around individuals who struggle with their isolated, sometimes alienated existence in society. In a space whether mentally or physically, Kruishoop mixes reality with fiction.

Kruishoop likes to react to and on society, addressing social and complex issues. One of the images in the photo series God Bless America shows an army of bikini clad, surgically enhanced ‘glamazones’ of different ethnicities, proudly carrying the American Flag. In another image the blond and the Asian ‘glamazones’ are strangling the African American model. Kruishoop points out that the American Dream is a propaganda tool, and a facade.

In 2015, well before the #MeToo movement was established, Kruishoop created a series of photographs of scarred and abused women. She also created a series of neons of curse words both in Arabic and English playing in on the growing anti Muslim sentiment. The show was called #I’mAngryToo.

In both Kruishoop’s films and art, she likes to focus on the voiceless; the ones that she feels might be overlooked in art. Frequently her ‘stories’ evolve around women. Her work depicts violence, brutality, and racism. Kruishoop often uses polished ecstatic and glossy images, trying to seduce the viewers.

In the short film Sometimes it’s hard to be a Woman, we witness a heavily made up, barely dressed, bleached blond woman violently being beaten up by her lover. She’s covered in blood. She cries. She’s helpless. A few years later Kruishoop created the video installation Unbreakable. A natural beauty is repeatedly hit in her face. We can’t identify the person who is hitting her. It’s just a fist coming in and out of frame. The video is multilayered: the beating has no effect. The beauty barely reacts and she doesn’t bleed or bruise. In some strange way she owns it. On the other hand the literal beating reflects a figurative meaning: mental abuse that does not leave physical marks, but scars a person deeply. It reflects the long fight of women slowly but surely strengthening their position in a male dominated society.

Like a film script Kruishoop’s works are carefully choreographed and cleverly edited. She doesn’t use any special effects or computer manipulation. Kruishoop works in multi media, sculpture, photography and film.

Unprecedented Kruishoop won the Citroen Award at the Dutch Film festival for best Graduation film, despite the fact that she was only in her third year. She wrote, directed and produced her first feature film Vive Elle when she was still in school. She received a grant from the Dutch Film Foundation to finish the film as Kruishoop landed a theatrical distribution deal. This was unheard of as students normally are not allowed to receive film grants. She’s the youngest female in the Netherlands to have written and directed a feature film. Kruishoop won the Culture price of the city of Amsterdam and was runner up for the National Dutch Culture price.

Kruishoop studied at the Rietveld Academy, Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She lives and works in Los Angeles, USA.