One day I met a cockroach during a mind-altering journey under the influence of 24 fresh leaves of the Salvia Divinorum. Ever since, I’ve found I can go back to that encounter, slip through the hard shell, and get under the insect’s skin. Once inside, any sense of distance evaporates, and I merge with the carrier. The first time I became cockroach, I found myself at the entrance to a cave Iit by a welcoming campfire. I went in and lived inside the cave for several months, practicing self-healing. The cockroach’s strength lies in its adaptability- its ability to survive under any conditions, however hostile and inhospitable. From the couch in my apartment, I traveled to other dimensions exploring internal landscapes rendered digitally in Second Life. Here I met my spirit worm guide. I found that if I pulled the cave over my head and wore it like a dress, I could channel worm, feel gradually more at ease, and begin adjusting to my situation. 

Ruchama Noorda 

The PRESS ESC video was commissioned in the spring of 2020 during the first Covid lockdown by De Oude Kerk in Amsterdam in collaboration with the online art and culture magazine Mister Motley for an exhibition titled The World After. Sixteen artists were invited to make short films reflecting on the challenges and opportunities opened up “(w)hen the world came to a grinding halt in March 2020.”The video was made available online and was later exhibited inside the church on a small lcd screen in one of the former chapels. 

Later in the year it was also included as part of a larger installation at the Rozenstraat project space in central Amsterdam for the exhibition 2020 in which 25 artists were invited to submit works made “in an already mythic year … as a time-document of an unprecedented period”. 

PRESS ESC TO RETURN TO WORLD VIEW: video, The World After, curated by Lieneke Hulshof (Mister Motley),Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, April 2020 – January 2021. 

The World After #7: Ruchama Noorda


PRESS ESC TO RETURN TO WORLD VIEW: video/installation, 2020, curated by Sjoerd Kloosterhuis and Madelon van Schie, Rozenstraat Project Space, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, June 27 – October 3, 2020.


Photography by: G.J. van Rooij