From September 10 until November 1, ‘Episode of the Sea’, a film by Amsterdam-based artists Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan, will be shown at the World of Matter exhibition at the James Gallery NYC.
Participants in World of Matter draw upon methodologies from the social and natural sciences, journalism, and also poetics and aesthetics, to scrutinize zones of geopolitical-ecological upheaval. The research conducted by the artists, journalists and theorists in World of Matter coheres around a sensitive reconsideration of the planet’s “resources.” Their projects adopt a variety of formats and strategies to delve into relations between humans and the world, in some cases by way of historical narratives, in others, through scientific laboratory research, community collaboration, visualization technologies, or activist organization. These experiments animate an emergent notion of artistic global citizenship, breaking up well-worn patterns of representation by embracing a plethora of aesthetic, conceptual and interventionist engagements with “matter.”
The film Episode of the Sea (35mm, 61 min., 2014) is the result of a two-year collaboration with the fishing community of Urk, a former island in the Netherlands. In the previous century, the Dutch closed off and drained their inland sea to reclaim new farmland. The island of Urk, situated in the middle of the sea, suddenly found itself embraced by land. Its inhabitants were expected to switch from fishing to farming, but the fishermen managed to continue their trade. They found new fishing grounds, far out in the North Sea. Despite being part of the mainland for decades, the fishing village still is reputably insular and its inhabitants speak in their own tongue. With a residency and numerous visits Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan gradually gained the Urker’s trust.
Lonnie van Brummelen and Siebren de Haan produce film works, essays, and an occasional sculpture or collage that explore cultural and geopolitical landscapes like Europe’s borders, sites of resource production and global trade, and the (non) sites of cultural heritage. They are currently preparing a monument for the forest in collaboration with diverse forest people from Surinam. Venues where their works have been shown include Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich; Argos, Brussels; Project Arts Centre, Dublin; SMBA and De Appel Amsterdam; CCA Vilnius; the Shanghai and Guangju Biennials; IAC Villeurbanne, France. Their works are included in the public collections of Kunsthaus Zürich; Les Abattoirs, Toulouse; MUDAM Luxembourg; FRAC Marseille; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Julia Stoschek Collection, Düsseldorf; Hoffmann Sammlung, Berlin; Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Van Brummelen and de Haan studied art and philosophy at Rietveld academy, Rijksakademie, and University of Amsterdam, where Van Brummelen currently works as a PhD researcher at the department of Media Studies and MaHKU.