Morphing Matter (2019)

Video (loop, 03m45s)  and photo series (series of 8)

Morphing Matter within the first artist publication of ‘Building an Archive of a Disappearing Landscape’
Venues: Neverneverland gallery, Amsterdam (NL) CIAP  Kunstverein Hasselt, (BE), Haus der Kunst, Munich (DE)

Part of
‘Building an Archive of a
Disappearing Landscape’

Thanks to neuroscientist Tycho Hoogland and the NIN (Dutch Brain Institute)

The video and photo-work Morphing Matter examines lignite from a microscopic level, showing a different facet of the material thought of as ‘responsible’ for the excavation process which caused the disappearing of over 300 villages in West Germany. While lignite looks brown and  rather uninteresting to the human eye, enlarged 30 times it inherits a completely different appearance which makes it look attractive and valuable, standing in sheer contrast with most people’s cultural-defined association with the material but resembling the value the industry assigns to it. Reacting to the negative and often disastrous media depiction of geo-traumatic and postindustrial landscape, the work confronts the viewer with their own contradictionary prejudice against the matter itself. This contradiction is also visible in the excavation site itself, which was turned into an attraction to be looked down upon and is often described as ‘majestic’ and ‘beautiful’, while it also causes environmental disstress. Together with neuroscientist Tycho Hoogland, a string of microscopic images of lignite was produced, resulting in a series of photographs. From  the more zoomed-in samples, an un-chronological loop video was made, showing the morphing from one piece of lignite into the next and the various new landscapes which seem to emerge within the matter itself.

This work is part of the publication Building an Archive of a Disappearing Landscape (2018-ongoing), a project combining artistic work with theoretical research. Starting from the notion of the my grandfather’s birthplace, which vanished from the map in 1976 due to lignite industry, it explores the changing of matter which occurs within the particular landscape of Nordrhein-Westfalen In West Germany.

                     Lignite mountain in North-Rhine Westphalia, Germany.

                       Block of lignite, Ten is for God exhibition at Neverneverland Amsterdam, 2018.

                         Film still ‘Morphing matter’, loop video, 2019.