THE MUSHROOM CLUB

A site specific documentation of The Mushroom Club, Royal academy of arts, The Hague, 2017

For years, it was the best kept secret in the Netherlands: The Mushroom Club, a former NATO headquarters inside a mountain on the Dutch-Belgian border during the Cold War. This underground network of tunnels was stripped in 1992 and officially erased on paper. What is left is an empty quarry, objects taken out of their original context and the often inconsistent recollections of former employees.

Since this headquarters is erased both on paper and physically, I had to depend on other forms of reconstructing an image of the place. Using different kinds of hard and soft evidence, from fingerprints on paper to memories of former employers, I reconstructed the headquarters enabling others to visit the place.

The final installation comprises five elements that are based on this fragmented information. All elements together serve as fictive fragments – building blocks – that allow the viewer to reconstruct a mental image of the headquarters. The Mushroom Club is a document that embraces the inaccuracies of writing history. It departs from the idea that history is a piece of fiction, composed of facts. Reflecting on the representation of historical events in our collective consciousness and questioning the rol of the documenter in unpicking and reweaving of fragmented information to a linear story.

 

TheMushroomClub_expo_images21
hh5
hh4aa
hh7recht
hhh3a
hh2a
hh9

401 Rooms and Latent Fingerprints are made in collaboration with Tom Schotman connected to the Dutch Forensic Institute (NFI)

FLUORESCENT SIGNALS

Fluorescent Signals 2017, Het Nutshuis, Den Haag

STRESS DETECTION IN PLANTS
– 2015

‘Fluorescent Signals’ shows the hidden life of plants. Plants emit a fluorescence when under stress, usually imperceptible to the human eye. A specific photographic technique, developed in collaboration with scientist Henk Jalink, allows us to visit this hidden world. The plants have been exposed to chlorine, hydrochloric acid, boiling water, drought, fire and vinegar. The images show how we as humans can damage our environment in ways that are often invisible and question our interaction with the natural world.