To have and to hold
2012 – Mapping the landscape, Museum Van Bommel Van Dam, Venlo
Curator: Saskia van de Wiel
Artists: Antoine Berghs, Paul Devens, Sebastian Freytag, Philippine Hoegen, Frank Koolen, Heidi Linck, Paulien Oltheten en Kai Rheineck.
Mapping the landscape was an artistic research project in which I transformed an abandoned greenhouse complex into a learning environment for its surrounding inhabitants. However hated by the people living around it because of the decay, it was the same decay that fascinated me as an artist who saw it for the first time.
By interviewing local inhabitants about the history of this site, I discovered three main characters: a WW-II bomber who crashed here long before the greenhouses were built; a farmer who grew flowers in the greenhouse complex and a homeless man who lived inside for two years. From their perspectives I wrote letters from the greenhouse complex to the people living around it.
In my next step I invited these people for an excursion together with an ecologist and historician. Here we all learnt about special plant and bird species living inside the abandoned greenhouse complex and many other local stories about the site were shared. I was given as feedback that I changed this site into beauty without the addition of any art object. This insight changed my way of working forever.
Intervention 1: narrative letters
Video-installation (collection Museum Van Bommel Van Dam).
HD video, black-white, no audio, 9min22sec