Scenography CHAPTER 5IVE
In close collaboration with the curator, the design agency Diogo Passarinho Studio developed a scenography that transforms the exhibition space of Het HEM into an agricultural production landscape, where works of art interlock like plots of land. The light – designed by Theatermachine – moves with the time of day and season. During the day the sun plays with the artworks, in the evenings a cool moonlight shines through the space.
Two spatial portals – a sand dune and an irrigation system – divide the essayistic exhibition into three chapters. The first part shows artworks that depict the deep experience of time and the ancestral links with the slow landscape (as with Agnes Waruguru and Agnes Denes); the middle part points us to practices with which we strengthen our connection with nature (such as the training modules of de Onkruidenier or the techniques of beavers that we discover through the drawings of Suzanne Husky); in the last part, technologies of the present and near future determine how we see the landscape and become part of it (think of the works by Gerard Ortín Castellví and Ian Cheng). The visitor moves between two opposing positions – to recall Charles C. Mann's metaphor once again - between the conservative prophet on the one hand and the progressive sorcerer on the other (see also Rieke Vos’ essay in this Zine).
In 2012, architects Samir Bantal - of the AMO think tank - and Rem Koolhaas launched an extensive study into contemporary rural development all across the globe, called ‘CountrySide’. Over the past thirty years, in their view, far too much emphasis has been placed
on urbanisation and the assumption that the world’s constantly growing population is going to live primarily in likewise ever-expanding cities. They claim that cities have long ceased to be the locus of major transformations in our lifestyles, instead, these changes are happening in the areas outside of cities. On the one hand, rural areas are often worst affected by the consequences of climate change, but at the same time, they also potentially offer the best solutions for dealing with it.
These observations from Bantal and Koolhaas do not exist in a vacuum, rather they are part of a larger paradigm shift, characterised by an increasing awareness that humanity will have to forge a different relationship with its (natural) environment if it wants to survive on this planet. The notion that we can exert complete control over our environment – characteristic of western capitalist thinking – is increasingly making way for the realisation that we must (re)discover a balanced relationship with nature and that a radical system change is needed to safeguard our future.
The value of AMO’s research lies in its generic approach to the subject matter. In collaboration with universities in China, Kenya, the Nether- lands and the US, they collected numerous hypotheses that complicate the apparent opposition between city and countryside, and which generate solutions from an interplay between intrinsic local knowledge, finely meshed social networks, and technology.
This conceptual framework is the starting point for Chapter 5IVE. Following a number of brainstorming sessions with Koolhaas and Bantal, curator Rieke Vos is developing an exhibition featuring works by artists who make us aware of the disastrous consequences of a western capitalist lifestyle, while at the same time exploring how we might relate to the greatest challenge of our times. In a world with a constantly migrating population, how can we repair our relationship with the environment? Are we capable of adjusting and adapting to the new conditions that climate change is precipitating? In our ever-accelerating lives, how can we provide space for the deep experience of time reflected in the passing of seasons, or the age of a tree?
2022 Amsterdam, NL
Curated by Rieke Vos
Exhibition Architecture by Diogo Passarinho Studio
Team: Diogo Passarinho, Gonçalo Reynolds
With contributions from Ian Cheng, Jasper Coppes, Bram Demunter, Agnes Denes, De Onkruidenier, Cathy van Eck, Musasa & Maarten Vanden Eynde, Future farmers, Christian Jankowski, Suzanne Husky, Gerard Ortín Cas- tellví, Diogo Passarinho Studio, Rembrandt van Rijn, Xinlin Vivian Song, Agnes Waruguru (and others)
Photography: Cassander Eeftinck Schattenkerk
Chapter 5IVE: Samir Bantal & Rem Koolhaas is supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, Mondriaan Fund, Fonds 21 and Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
Opening times: Friday – Saturday 12h – 24h and Sunday 12h – 22h
Address: Warmperserij 1 1505 RL Zaandam