The exhibition ‘Something Could Actually Happen: Zwischenlandschaften’ by Nabuurs&VanDoorn is on show from June 21 to July 18, 2020 at Pennings Foundation and was realized in close collaboration with the Van Abbemuseum. Curator of the exhibition is Carolina Calgaro. Carolina Calgaro is Italian. She is doing an internship at the Van Abbemuseum as part of a dual master's program in Curating Art and Cultures at the University of Amsterdam and VU University in Amsterdam. Steven ten Thije, curator at the Van Abbemuseum, acted as special advisor.
‘Zwischenlandschaften’ (Twilight zone) is what the Eindhoven visual artists Inge Nabuurs (1972) and Erwin van Doorn (1971) call the projects they have been working on since 2016. The title is inspired by a statement of the Swiss sociologist Lucius Burckhardt (1925-2003), ‘It is up to painters and poets to make the landscape visible’.
An overview of Zwischenlandschaften I, II and III is shown at Pennings Foundation. The focus is on Zwischenlandschaften III and the video of a new performance specially staged for this purpose.
Carolina selected the works for the exhibition together with the artists. The exhibition was opened by Charles Esche, director of the Van Abbemuseum. From a distance, that is. Esche was in Vienna at the time of the opening. His introduction was therefore pre-recorded. That had its advantages. Due to the corona crisis, we were only allowed to gather thirty people in the building. To give more people the opportunity to attend the opening, a second session was organized, with the same program. This allowed us to present the introduction of Esche again. In his introduction, Esche referred to the elaborate text that Carolina wrote about the methodology of Nabuurs&VanDoorn and in particular about Zwischenlandschaften. A preface will be followed by the text of Carolina.
The exhibition provides insights into the artists’ methodology, based on research. Nabuurs and Van Doorn investigate social or cultural situations or events from the past and respond to them as artists by means of all kinds of interventions. The media they use are installation, video, photography and performance. Texts and projections of texts form an important part of their work.
Nabuurs and Van Doorn show research results and findings in installations (research sculptures). From ‘found’ texts, for example archival documents, correspondences or interviews, they extract quotes – one or several words - which they isolate by blackening out the rest of the text. They then present those words on banners or project them onto a surface of their choice. By separating the quotes from the original context, they become somehow timeless. In their new presentation, the words can evoke associations and acquire a new meaning, as a statement, connecting the past with the present and possibly also the future. In addition, the artists transformed research results into a legend, which in turn serves as the basis for a performance, and they made a libretto.
For Zwischenlandschaften I (2016-2017), Nabuurs and Van Doorn immersed themselves in the Furk’art project, in which sixty artists made works of art in the Swiss Alps between 1984 and 2000, from an hotel on the Furka Pass that functioned as an artist-in-residence. Nabuurs and Van Doorn interviewed some of the artists via e-mails.