Sedimentation of Memory

Installation with five slide projectors and limestone blocks, 2017

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Following a disclosure agreement between former Nato employees, Sedimentation of Memory features 400 hand-copied drawings based on the private archives that tell the narrative of geopolitics and labour, simultaneously tracing the genealogy of power as it as inscribed in the dark corridors of the former limestone quarry in Maastricht. 

Sedimentation of Memory is an installation with seventeen limestone blocks, five synchronised slide projectors displaying 400 drawings, accompanied by a booklet.
Kodak terminated the production of the 35mm carousel slide projectors over a decade ago. Now considered obsolete, the slide projector has come to evoke the specific section of the past.

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Sedimentation of Memory investigates the interrelation of historical narratives by looking into the photographic representation of Canner hill, located near Maastricht. This cavernous hill has significant labour, military and geopolitical history which is little known.

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From Neolith until the preindustrial era, it has been mined for flint nodules and later limestone. For a long period, limestone was the primary building material in Maastricht. Public buildings, churches, houses, bridges were all made of limestone taken from the hilly slopes of Caesert plateau. By this process, more than 400 km of underground corridors were created by hand extraction. Canner hill is one of many hills that was entirely hollowed out prior to the industrial revolution, which made it into a fragile ecosystem and a unique preindustrial heritage site. In the darkness of the Canner hill, lies hidden traces of WW2, Cold War and the European Union history. During World War II, German troops repurposed the cave and transformed it into a storage and assembly facility for V-1 rockets. Just a few years after the end of World War II, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) rented out the same cave and used it as a headquarters for war operations during the Cold War, transforming Canner hill into a military zone once again. However, the NATO headquarters shut down prematurely in 1992 due to severe contamination. That same year, the Treaty of the European Union was ratified in Maastricht, its twelve signatures memorialised in the cave.
Sedimentation of Memory is an installation with seventeen limestone blocks, five synchronised slide projectors displaying 400 drawings, accompanied by a booklet. The drawings are based on the public and private photographic archives, parts of interviews and film footage I made between 2015 and 2018. The limestone blocks were collected in the vicinity of Canner hill. Drawing from a variety of sources from private and public archives related to Canner hill, this work traces characters as they surface from different mediums: black-and-white or colour photographs, VHS tapes, scanned documents, natural history books, military brochures, tourist guides or the most recent unclassified records from the NATO archive in Brussels. A cross-section of this reference material is used as inspiration for 400 drawings presented as a synchronised spatial and looping composition using five slide carousels.

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Sedimentation of Memory is an installation with seventeen limestone blocks, five synchronised slide projectors displaying 400 drawings, accompanied by a booklet. A short story 'Je vint me een zwartkijker? In deze duisternis?' is written by Stijn Verhoeff, translated by Nat Muller and the booklet is designed by Bardhi Haliti. The short story is published on De Gids website.

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