ATELIER AM kicked off with the exhibition programme DE KWEKERIJ (The Plant Nursery) in Corrosia from 18 May until 5 October 2022. Together with Corrosia, AM gave the opportunity to ten (inter)national and innovative visual artists to work with the context of Almere. All participating artists recently graduated from Dutch art academies when they participated. They offered an insight into their creating process which is open to the public since their studios in DE KWEKERIJ (THE PLANT NURSERY) were always available to visit. In other words, you got to know the artists and their work from close by and you could see the developments happening live.
Next to the exhibition in Corrosia, AM created four public programmes together with the artists and local cultural partners such as Land Art Flevoland, M. and StrandLAB. These took place in several districts in Almere and were free of charge.
The exhibition programme was divided into four periods each of five weeks. During every period two—and sometimes three—artists worked alongside each other in Corrosia. All artists worked together with one cultural partner and organised a public programme during every period.
4&5 June, 11-17h
at Polderland Garden of Love and Fire (Almere)
during Land Art Weekend 2022
Eloy Cruz Del Prado
During his working period, Eloy Cruz del Prado elaborated on his artistic research on the relationship between labor and intimacy. The recognition of dissident sexualities, bodies and genders through labor are themes that he explores in his artistic practice. During DE KWEKERIJ he developed and presented his new work Good job, good boy (sketch I) during Land Art Weekend 2022. With this performance work, Cruz del Prado reflected on Daniel Libeskind’s work Polderland Garden of Love and Fire and the underlying poem Llama de amor viva (Living Flame of Love). In this poem, Spanish poet San Juan de la Cruz (1542-1591) describes becoming one with God, the desired goal of a religious experience, which is a feeling that’s impossible to put into words. So, to give readers some idea of what this mystical experience was, San Juan turned to human, sexual type of love as a metaphor for the intense spiritual sensation.
Liza Houben developed and presented her sculpture Haumea during DE KWEKERIJ. Hand-cast at Make in Eindhoven, this work is the centerpiece of her new collaborative installation called Blossom. Haumea was placed in close proximity to Polderland Garden of Love and Fire by Daniel Libeskind during Land Art Weekend 2022. Blossom is a continuation of Houben’s graduation work, the performance installation called Lake. The new work depicts an abstracted image of a womb as an ode to fertility. Ultimately, Blossom will evolve into a landscape exploring this concept of fertility.
Mica Pan‘s practice is based on the physical exploration of spaces as a way to reflect on how environments affect our daily perceptions and actions. During her work period, Mica explored the surroundings of Cultural Centre Corrosia and the artwork Polderland Garden of Love and Fire by Daniel Libeskind. She intertwined this artwork with the landscape in her durational site-specific performance, developed especially for Land Art Weekend 2022. In Corrosia, she entered a different landscape; consisting of walls, windows, stairs and elevators. According to Pan, all these elements evoke a specific way of moving, which she decided to activate and redefine. At the same time, she focused on how an audience perceives a performative act in different settings. By bringing actions outside that are seemingly quite ordinary when performed inside, and vice versa, she shifted and alienated these movements in front of the audience.
Public Programme during Exhibition for 1 Day:
9 July, 12-17h
at the square in front of Corrosia,
Markt 43, Almere Haven
Miru Bahc connects botanical research with themes of diaspora, immigration and personal history. The guiding question during her working period was: ‘How can care be seen as a fundamental (basic) condition for seeing nature as alive, and for building social infrastructures?’ During DE KWEKERIJ, she organized a workshop in which she interacted with participants about these issues, sharing seedlings derived from seeds from her grandmother’s garden. She also explored local perspectives on these topics and got to know Almere through the eyes of the host family where she was staying. By connecting with her family and homeland, the Republic of Korea, she rediscovers the knowledge of her ancestors and reflects on how we as humans are surrounded –and shaped– by care and nurture.
Eva van der Zand
The starting point of Eva van der Zand‘s research was the specific location of DE KWEKERIJ. She questioned how she could connect herself, and her practice, to her new workspace in Almere and the extensive landscape of Flevoland. While carefully exploring the province, she came across the IJsseloog, an artificial island located in the middle of the Ketelmeer. The purpose of this island is to salvage contaminated silt from the bottom of the lake, while also fulfilling a (contrasting) function as a place for recreation and nature development. Fascinated by the island, she developed 45 texts inspired by the 45-meter-deep well, which she transformed into a publication, soundscape and video work. During her working period she posed the question; what do we feel when the landscape looks back at us?
22, 23, 24 September, 12-18h
starts opposite the ice cream store Mariola
(Kruisstraat 74), Almere Haven
during Art in my Backyard
With a performance* by Mayis Rukel
on 24 September, 17.30h at Corrosia
*The performance takes place in Corrosia and is wheelchair accessible.
During the working period, Jerrold Saija aimed to strengthen the connection with his ancestors through his artistic research. Important resources in this process proved to be the two spices that originate from the Moluccas, nutmeg and mace. For example, he noticed that there are only songs about these spices in the Moluccas. During Art in My Backyard: Future Gardens, Saija presented his research on and performance of these songs. Like nutmeg, Jerrold sees the fact of “the ritual” and “the story” as a form of collective embodiment and retelling. The spice can therefore be seen as an ancestor. Just like the way a song (and its history) takes shape only by listening to and considering it in its entirety, the meaning of nutmeg follows a similar pattern. Thus, according to Saija, the spice can only be viewed in the totality of its existence – not just as the spice found in the supermarket.
Mayis Rukel‘s work depicts and explores futures of care, belonging, equality and abundance. Rukel’s work questions how we can realise such futures by integrating these concepts into our daily actions and most personal parts of our lives. During his work period, Rukel developed the performance To get from one place to another in close collaboration with Mira Thompson and Anna Raiola, which premiered during Art in My Backyard: Future Gardens. The work is intertwined with principles of disability justice, as a center of resistance to all forms of systematic violence – and as a crossroads for complex strategies for surviving this violence. In this, the body is the foundation (human, nonhuman and beyond).
Finissage DE KWEKERIJ
Wednesday 5 October, 16.30–18h
In the course of the presentation period, notjohn explored the notion of geo-trauma: the experience that the human body and its created environment function as a database of catastrophic moments on planet earth. The in-depth study was presented at various points in the process, such as the interactive performance at the StrandLAB Festival where notjohn invited the audience to channel their emotional state through sand drawings. The artistic research resulted in the performance Hearing Barker, where notjohn performed its first iteration at the Verhalenweekend: Oerknal and the UITfestival in Almere Haven. notjohn embodies, in a stylised way, Professor D.C. Barker’s ideas around the overlap of our inner and outer worlds. Utilising various forms of expression developed during DE KWEKERIJ, we experienced the concept of geo-trauma through the lens of notjohn.
Sanne van Balen
During the five-week period, Sanne van Balen investigated exactly how we, humans, relate to our surroundings. With this question as a starting point, she examined the space(s) of Cultural Centre Corrosia, began painting (on a large scale) and continued writing her debut novel – of which she shared a sneak peek during Verhalenweekend: Oerknal and StrandLAB Festival. The specific scenes she wrote during this time are set in different locations in Flevoland and are about finding your voice. For this she delved into the Tongue of Lucifer, an artwork by Ruud de Wint, which for many locals is a recognisable landmark normally found along the A6. The sculpture has been at the center of many public discussions, but the artwork itself never had the chance to speak. When do you actually have the right to speak? And what do you say?
Joana Velu experimented with mining and processing clay during DE KWEKERIJ. She investigated the soil of Flevoland and in this way got to know Almere’s surroundings. She asked herself: what can the soil tell me about Almere? With her hands in the mud, Joana dug into both the history of Flevoland and the current state of the soil. During her fieldwork, her time at DE KWEKERIJ and the Art in my Backyard event, she came into contact with residents of Almere who offered her different perspectives on the subject – in addition to the narrative quality of this soil. What does the soil say about the landscape and the way how society is shaped there? What is the identity of the soil, and how does it relate to the identity of the plants, animals and people who live there?