Bunkerexpositie #35 - Emily Huurdeman
This exhibition is the second in a series called ‘Human Nature’, in which we explore the meaning of nature in a world where human interference is visible everywhere. Is nature (still) the counterpart of humanity? If not, can it still be a place for reflection?
The choice for the theme came forth out of the setting. Bunker v192 was once part of the Atlantic Wall, built during WOII by the Nazis. Its industrial interior forms a stark contrast with the outside, which is hardly discernable from a hill. This interplay between natural/unnatural we also see in the nearby rose garden. In all its natural splendor it is also a monument for humanity’s control over nature.
Emily Huurdeman (1985), explores this theme as a performance artist, mainly working with video and installations. A simple gesture or act is central to the works. For example the work Shaving of the ram. The ram being sheared in Drenthe is one of the oldest sheep breeds of Western Europe. For centuries, the breed has been a popular depiction among painters. Van Gogh, for instance, depicted the sheep in a sketch. Shearing the ram is a classic theme in painting: the man of the house shaves the dominant ram of a folk of sheep. The ram was used as a symbol of both strength and submission to man. However here we see a new relation to nature. Ram and human are in an equally vulnerable position.
In the work Poppy Emily holds a cut poppy flower gently in hand while it whithers and dies. A bumble bee assures the flower’s pollinated—a last act of beauty after a final act of destruction. The poppy is a symbol of strength and fragility. It’s the first to grow on disturbed or disrupted land, but cut, it whithers quickly. It was shot at a polluted building site in Maastricht and took 75.45 minutes. The character of her videos and the duration of the act allow you to move freely through the works and revisit them in different stages.
Emily Huurdeman currently lives and works in the Netherlands. She recently graduated a Master in education in Arts (Piet Zwart institute), after already having obtained a masters in artistic research and a bachelors in fine arts.
From 19 July - 17 August, Open everyday between 12.00 - 20.00.