research

To have and to hold

2012
Personal exploration: video
In situ intervention
Map
Excursion

Commissioned and collected by Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo

Mapping the landscape
Mapping the Landscape was a project curated by Saskia van de Wiel, with Antoine Berghs, Paul Devens, Sebastian Freytag, Philippine Hoegen, Frank Koolen, Heidi Linck, Paulien Oltheten and Kai Rheineck. As an artistic respons to the Floriade, an event which focus is on exotic plants and gardens, Museum Van Bommel Van Dam invited artists to reside in Venlo and research the local landscape.

Research
During my stay in Venlo, I discovered a spontanuously grown landscape inside an abandoned greenhouse complex that once was built in a living area. To me this was the perfect paradox: nowhere in The Netherlands we can find a wild landscape anymore. These greenhouses, which were designed for controlled plant growth, had been taken over by the plants which enjoyed the special climate underneath the glass roof.

Personal exploration: video
HD video, black and white, no audio, 9min22sec

 

In situ intervention
Based on collecting stories about the greenhouse by interviewing the people living around the location and doing archaeological and archival research in situ, I wrote three letters from the perspectives of the main characters in these stories. The letters were printed and sent by regular post to the people living around the green house complex.

3 letters, laserprints on A4paper, edition of 100 each, spread by regular mail to local residents.

 

Map and excursion
The excursion and the map invited the public to experience the site – without entering it. By walking around the fences and using their binoculars, they could view it without people and imagine themselves walking inside the landscape that was inside the green house complex. The excursion was attended by local residents among whom there were historicians and an ecologist, providing additional information and stories about the site.

Presentations and publications
The research projects were presented in a group exhibition, a symposium and a catalogue.

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