The Columbarium

Multi media installation

...existing of several components: video, construction of tables, various (photographic) objects.


The site

This is ’The Columbarium’ as part of total installation ’40 Titles II’.

The video was created out of footage shot in Xiamen, China during an artist residency with the Chinese European Art Center. The construction of used tables, resembles the way the city is build up. That way the projected video and the construction merge. The flags waving in opposite directions, also relate to video, as a pigeon-fancier uses a red flag, waving to call the pigeons back in after a free flight.

Before having visited China, I immersed myself in the way the country and it’s history was portrayed by western tourists. I came across old private movies and (outdated) documentaries. Being aware of the fact that the outside vision is restricted, this was the starting point for my investigation regarding the complex interplay of various factors that play a part when it comes to creating an understanding about something we’re not familiar with. Even during the residency, when I was walking the streets or tried to communicate, it was hard to comprehend what I encountered. Comprehension seemed to reach me through indirect communication.

Turning imagery into objects…

I applied this principle in a series of digitally composed images, where I combined painterly imagery with photographic realism related to the scenery, providing them with physicality by turning them into objects. This resulted in a series of framed images, based upon typical place related subjects.

In total installation ’40 Titles II’, I used the ‘The Columbarium’ as a basis for these objects to relate to. Placed around a building structure out of used tables, resembling the city structure in the video they are like personal memories, kept within homes.

In that sense, the installation reminds of freedom of speech, state control and privacy matters in general.

At the same time, people also become confronted with their own desire to snoop, wanting to touch things, look at the other side… Although all objects were carefully arranged, people actually picked them up. This desire extended through the whole of the installation: somebody actually took a photographic work from the wall and placed it back upside down.

Objects from the plastic soup surrounding Xiamen mixed with 'Potential Plastic Soup Material'

At the foot, an illuminated billboard window, containing a photographic work, as a result of a series of public interventions with clothesline.

Rolled up in circles, they reappear in the installation, traversing grouped, crossing over and under the static and firmly grounded installation.

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