projects

Viaduct for silence

2018-2019
Digital slides
Map
Name-plate installed in situ

 

The Varenna Viaduct
Over highroad A50 near Beekbergen there are two parallel viaducts: one that is in use and an identical other one that has been out of use for almost 30 years. Both viaducts were constructed in 1968 and named after the nearby Varenna ranch. Shortly after the construction, the infrastructural design was changed, after which only one of the two viaducts was in use. Because removal of the superfluous other viaduct was too expensive, it was only closed off and today it is still an empty viaduct. From the first viaduct, the other, empty viaduct can be observed. The obsolete viaduct is accessible on one side by walking through a narrow but dense forest. The double viaduct can be found on Google maps by 52°07’23.3″N 5°57’22.5″E or 52.123143, 5.956244. Locally this viaduct is known as the Ghost Viaduct/ ‘Spookviaduct’. On official geographical maps this site appears as a void space, marked as a white spot or transparent road. The viaduct structure is from both sided slowly being eated by nature, as trees, plants and mosses are covering the asphalt. In november 2018 I entered this viaduct to map and document the entire object, including the overgrown parts.

 

Digital slides, beamer projection, variable dimensions, 16 slides (JPEG, 4608 x 3456 pixels) of which 6 shown below.

The slides are the documentation of the entire viaduct structure as explored in november 2018.

 

Map
Leporello in handmade cardboard box, unicum, 31 x 21 x 5cm
Leporello: 30 x 400 cm; ink on paper

 

Name plate

Nameplate (‘Viaduct for silence’) , 10 x 10 cm, PVC.

‘From this point, the dense forest slowly rises. It appears to be an overgrown road. After some tens of meters on the road, steel barriers emerge from the ground on both sides between the branches and the trunks. However, the forest remains as dense as everywhere and still does not reveal it’s true identity. But suddenly, the forest ends and black asphalt appears from beneath the soil. Despite some bits of moss and young birch trees, this asphalt is smooth and intact. It is absolutely not expired, rather new. There are yellow stripes on it, not white, which may say something about whether it has ever been used. After all, yellow stripes are temporary, white ones are permanent. The asphalt is easily accessible. By walking, it leads to the other side of the highway. Apart from a broken mirror, there is no trace of human activity. I experience the differences in speed versus slow and between short and long now that I am walking on a viaduct in stead of driving. On the other side, the viaduct disappears into another forest. This black asphalt is a void that floats above the highway, where nothing moves. Underneath, the traffic rages. This contrast makes me experience a deep silence and also a threat. The place suggests that a car can come out from the forest any moment, but of course that does not happen. It is a dead-end road that ends on both sides. Neither people nor animals can go over it. Only silence can cross here’.

(artists’ fieldnote, 03-11-2018)

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