Troubled Waters | 2022
The group exhibition Troubled Waters – a Confused or Chaotic State of Affairs took place in Pictura/Dordrecht from April 2nd, 2022 to May 8th, 2022 with three artists: myself, Suzette Bousema and Anja de Jong. In the exhibition we asked the question what role the artist plays in a time of ecological crisis. The opening speech was given by Flos Wildschut.
The urgency of these issues and our long-term engagement with these subjects brought us together. At the initiative of Anja de Jong, we were invited to think about a joint exhibition in the classical exhibition spaces of Pictura in Dordrecht.
The complexity and size of the theme has led all of us to long-term investigations, collaborations and layering in our work and practices. Each of our approaches incorporates a specific aspect of an ecological issue into our practices. Over a long period of time, De Jong has photographed the waterfront settlements in the Netherlands, which for centuries have been able to withstand the battle against the sea level, but are anything but safe against projected future sea rises. Bousema investigates the nitrogen problem and the so-called “dead zones” of the ocean where nothing lives anymore. And I have been investigating how drawing can play a role in issues related to landscape, mining and the aesthetics of climate problems. Research into open coal and diamond mining has led to works inviting the viewer to experience the vulnerability of the material world and thus one’s own body.
A mini-symposium on 24 April, 2022 was organized at the Dordrechts Museum, to accompany the exhibition. Two lectures were held We and the water – the role of the cultural imagination in times of flooding and sea level rise, by Lotte Jensen, professor of Dutch literary and cultural history, Radboud University, Nijmegen, and Art and Ecology, by Alice Smits, director and curator of Zone2Source, Amsterdam. This was followed by a conversation with the artists and audience, moderated by Katrien Ligt.