Every artisthood is teeming with platitudes. Repetitive anecdotes, topoi, that give every artist biography the same setup: he or she, always alone; real talent eludes schooling; thousands shouted out, only a handful chosen. Large or small talent, they all put their lives at stake for something that wants to transcend life. Art goes before offspring, reaches beyond death.
A cinematic report on the processes of growth and change taking place on W.G. Witteveenplein in Rotterdam. Each film begins with the construction of the park in early 2003 and shows the various changes that have taken place so far. The films are supplemented four times a year with new material. This will result in five twelve-minute films in 2023.
For months after I first stood on that little bridge, I continued to circle around the windmills. Not only with my camera, but also with a microphone. When you look closer, the polder turns out to be an arena of conflicting interests. The cluttering of the landscape stands in opposition to climatological necessity; economic and ecological interests are locking horns for dominance; innovation oriented towards the future has to compete with the appreciation for history. The counter argument is always around the corner.
The definition of the word definition is: 'the description of the essence of something in one or two highly precise and succinctly formulated sentences.' That is by no means easy, and we certainly don't pretend to be able to do so. Nevertheless, there are a lot of characteristics that we find interesting and that we come up against in wondering about what might be typical of the region known as Twente. But those things aren't so much absolute as they are relative.
The history of the Wilhelminasteen began on 30 May 1891 when the 10-year-old Queen Wilhelmina and Queen Mother Emma visited Rotterdam. To celebrate the occasion, hundreds of boats sailed on the Maas and 3,000 schoolchildren performed an aubade. The brand-new little Queen will give her name to the Wilhelmina Quay and the act that goes with it is a stone-laying ceremony.
Staring at the picture of the garden on the postcard I catch a glimpse of my mother in a version of her life that she never lived, one in which Nico had gotten in touch, after that evening out. Perhaps now she'd have a different surname and be sitting by a different fire drinking wine with a different child. In a moment that feels like an oedipal short circuit, I experience something impossible: that I never existed.