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About ‘ lelijk is het niet’* (ugly it is not – dutch )
During the years 2000-2003, I had an atelier in Smart Project Space building-or as it was known in, it is former name: Jan Swammerdam Institute (JSI). Since we all knew, that this building will be demolished in some point, I did a project , photographing most of the studios in the year 2002-3.In 2004, when the demolition of the building was taking place, I made a project of photographing the process with a digital stills camera. As a result, I edited fragments from the process, to a video work called ‘Lelijk is het niet’.
In the process of doing the work, I realized the enormous emotional response that a process of a demolition of a public institute brings upon a surface. As an expatriate, I felt much more connected to Amsterdam, since the building where I had an atelier for the last 3 years was demolished. I witnessed a ‘life cycle’ of a building my age being destroyed; I felt that gained an emotional experience, which in turn made my emotional bond to this city much stronger.
Reflecting upon my earlier groups of projects, which dealt with visualization of public order and hierarchical structures – Works Coordinated in Advance, I realized that the current work is an introduction of the other ‘end ‘of visualizing the social order. It is about demolition of buildings which function in a different purpose that the initial intension, as a city’s policy .My resistance toward the ‘ demolition’ approach, lies in the fact , that the visual identity of a city constructed also, from the different buildings it’s inhabits. At the moment, there are almost no ‘modernist’ buildings that are left in the center of Amsterdam, buildings that were designed and constructed in the sixties, when the thinking of the welfare state was very prominent. It is a ‘sign of the time’ – a shift to ‘tough’ capitalist model, in which ideas about equality, positivism, freedom are almost not there anymore.
It is possible to see the work in a separate window via : http://www.smartvideoserver.org/collection.php?action=find&artist=R