To have and to hold


1.  Video-documentation of the site
2. Writing and sending three letters from the site to the surrounding houses
3. Excursion to the site without entering it

Museum Van Bommel Van Dam invited artists to reside in Venlo and research the landscape. The research projects were presented in a group exhibition and by public events and a book.

During my stay, 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 such a wild landscape, except for these greenhouses which usually house pet-plants only.

Commissioned and collected by Museum Van Bommel Van Dam as part of Mapping the Landscape, curated by Saskia van de Wiel, with a.o. Philipine Hoegen, Paulien Oltheten and Frank Koolen.


Intervention 1: documenting the space

HD video, black and white, no audio, 9min22sec


Intervention 2: letters from the greenhouse

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.


Intervention 3: map making and excursion to the location

The excursion invited the public to experience the site without entering it. By walking around the fences and using their binoculars, they could imagine themselves walking inside the landscape that was inside the green house complex.