Voice of a Sinking Landscape

2018, installation and sound piece

Wood, swimming pool, print on PVC, sand, print on polyester fabric, microphones

Voice of a Sinking Landscape speaks about the sinking landscape of the Horstermeerpolder. The polder was established in 1882 after the drainage of lake Horstermeer, but has been struggling with its existence ever since. Scientists and nature conservationists argue for the restoration of this landscape by flooding it. The resistance of the local residents against this led to a coup (2010) and the polder was briefly declared as an independent republic within the Netherlands.

As far as I am concerned, the Horstermeerpolder is a microcosmos. I see this landscape as a poetic scenery for a small story about contemporary politics and climate issues.

For the project, I collaborated with climate scientists, locals, nature conservationists (Natuurmonumenten) and politicians of the Dutch Water Authority (Waterschap). It resulted in a large installation which was on display during the exhibition Climate as Artifact at the Elektriciteitsfabriek in The Hague, in October 2018. The installation was a translation of the shapes, stories, and images that I found in the Horstermeerpolder. It contained three speaking microphones, through which the audience could listen to interviews with stakeholders in the case of the Horstermeerpolder: the nature conservationists, the politicians and the local community. The project was accompanied by a zine, which I made in collaboration with climate scientist dr. Tanya Lippmann. The zine contains a selection of letters from the correspondence between me and dr. Lippman. It moves between absurd questions, scientific answers, poetry and storytelling, while zooming in and zooming out on the Horstermeerpolder and global climate issues.

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