Diane Mahín (Groothuysen)

I am a Dutch-Iranian human who makes art and a sociologist (born: Netherlands, 1993). I aspire to be a 'lifelike artist', a term which comes courtesy of Allan Kaprow. 


A lifelike artist does and does not make art. I make a performance today and pick an eyelash off someone's cheek tomorrow. Art is not something higher than everyday life, everyday life is more compelling than art. Life is meaningful, but only in particular: sweating, eating a pickle, making a sculpture. I like to make art, or not make art, that makes me attentive to the strangeness and excitement of the everyday. The strangeness of shaking hands, applauding, laughing, a glass of beer. I also think life is pointless. Art is not separate from life, but life is not art. Art is experience. An artist should not be celebrated more than a market seller. I like to do life consciously, while sometimes creating an installation, sometimes putting on a coat and some other times having a squeaky conversation. 

A common thread of influence in my artistic and life practice is my attitude towards death and its implications. Like many humans, I fear the discontinuity of my own consciousness. Regrettably, I also have nihilistic tendencies, which leaves me with only my current living body to rely on, as there seems to be no further meaning in life. Most of my work uses the human body, either of the spectator, the performer, or myself, as a medium to search for a temporary feeling of immortality. Alongside philosophical perspectives of mainly Georges Bataille and Julia Kristeva, I search for this ‘transcendence’ either indirectly through affective responses of my work, and/or directly through thematics of my work. Through this work, I am to achieve attentiveness to the immanence of our own bodies, as I believe this attentiveness is the key for many human related issues (whether it be escaping the fear of death or becoming a more balanced citizen).


When it seems right, I use my visual sociology training to combine social scientific research methods and theory with visual and sensory artistic practice. Studying sociology stimulated my interest in how the social reality of humans is constructed. I question the extent to which 'humans remain humans' within this social reality. My dual heritage allows me to compare two socialized cultures in this respect. 


2020 - 

Master in Theatre (directing/scenography), Institute of Performative Arts Maastricht


MA Visual Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London [distinction]


BSc Sociology, Utrecht University


Preparatory Course Fine Art, University of the Arts Utrecht


Exchange semester, University of California, Santa Barbara


BA Liberal Arts and Sciences, Utrecht University


Minor Media and Culture, Utrecht University

Exhibitions / Performances








(solo) Postmortem Recordings, Expocafé Zamen, Amsterdam

(group) Intervention for the occasion of De Laatste Aai, Museum Tot Zover, Amsterdam

(group) Museumnacht Amsterdam [museumnight], Museum Tot Zover, Amsterdam

(group) SNACK - Sociology is Not a Complete Knowledge, Greenwich West Community & Art Centre

(group) Things to Do When You're Dead, Cambridge City Crematorium

(group) Residual Matters, Goldsmiths, University of London 

(group) Residual Matters, Goldsmiths, University of London 

(solo) Imprisoned, University of California, Santa Barbara




(trainee) Public Program, Prince Claus Fund, Amsterdam

(set designer) VASSILINA, Albany Theatre, London


(performer) Sorry, What?, shown during Prelon Musk: Acts of Kleinness, at Asylum Chapel, Peckham, London, directed by Eilidh Delves


(voice-over artist) Under Construction, selected by BFI Top 200 Best Video Essays of 2018, directed by Julia Sterre Schmitz


(performer) Alles Over Iets en Dingen en Niets, shown at Het Amsterdams Theaterhuis (NL), directed by Diede Daalman


Many waitressing and office jobs

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 © 2019 by Diane Mahín