id11 Artist-In-Residency, The Netherlands

My works weave objects into a narrative and rely on the spaces in between what is actually there. The objects serve as clues, to complete the puzzles in our heads while our mind-cogs grind into the social, archaeological and art-historical spheres that our lives encounter.
The idea of Poptahof as a space, and of Delft as its context, is a playground for material that is both palpable and conceptual, and it seems appropriate to create a dialogue for these materials in a domestic sense: a reference to the residency as well as the home and the community in general. Being in Poptahof for me is like walking into a garden that vibrates with the comings and goings of children and commuters and retirees whose activities seem to explode into chaos that is tempered by quiet blocks of brick and greenery. I see the community as an overgrown garden where green, whether flowers or weeds, are beautiful, untended and unruly.  I see it as a home where people have lived in for so long, or changed so frequently, their shadows are permanently engraved on the walls, like fossils unearthed from sheets of rock.  My idea is to represent such impressions into objects and transform the little spaces in my studio into snapshots of this community existence.
The almost violent tearing down and reconstruction going on outside to me seem to beg for a different kind of renovation indoors, and my idea was to transform the studio into an unexpected space amid this ‘violence’: to allow the space to use up the material inside and play with the elements streaming in from the outside.   For the last three months, I have been collecting discards as well as flea market finds and have been transforming these into an overgrown garden, or a petrified living space.
Below are photos of what happened from the most recent to where I began.
13 October 2009, Delft

 

October, Main studio Troelstalaan 156

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September, Studio Troelstalaan 140

September

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work in progress.

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There was also a car art festival here in Delft that I participated in.  Barbara De Ponti and I collaborated on a car which we filled up with bags of air to quantify the air one would exhale to fill up the car, and equate that with distances one can travel to from Delft.  We got a really cool car to work on.

Open Studio, 156

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Studio Troelstalaan 156, latter August
domestic
domesticity
elasticity
electricity
vibrate
excavate
renovate
obfuscate
obliterate

I was given a 22 square meter studio to work in.  It had linoleum flooring in faux bleached wood and was painted with pink walls.  It also has two large windows overlooking a very overgrown garden and a shopping arcade beyond.

There’s construction going on everywhere.  They tore down two buildings on my street already, and are rebuilding two others.

In my studio,  I began my own reconstruction: adding bits of traditional Dutch architecture here, some contemporary Dutch sensibilities there.  I’ve been picking up discarded boxes and objects from the neighborhood dumpsters and reworking them into the studio.

I started with a line from an old photograph inscription from my grandmother and posted it on the window.  It seems to set the mood for the remodeling feat before me.

delft studio 2

delft studioWork starts and the walls are now white.

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IMG_1106I am in the process of moving the floor up to the walls.

Start: 1 August 2009, Delft, The Netherlands

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I was greeted by a crow perched on the railing just outside my window.

The neighborhood I live in is called Poptahof.  It is the Dutch version of tenement housing: buildings with hundreds of flats and row houses.  They are demolishing this area to rebuild ‘better’ housing for the residents, and I am one of the artists living in a house about to be demolished.  In theory, I could destroy the house, but being pint-sized as I am, it’s better to have another plan.

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