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Zeeland

2004, Schouwen Duiveland, Zeeland

Zeeland is a 10 minutes video about the island Connie grew up

Intro

A Dutch artist Connie Dekker made a video about her birthplace Zeeland. It is about the memory of her childhood, the big flood in 1953, her mother, her deceased father, her grandmother, the landscape surrounded by the sea. It is her homage for this place of Heavy Reformist Church and Mussels fisherman’s islands.

– Samuel – Fuyumi Namioka

The video is realized in collaboration with

My grandmother Mina van Ast – Bazen
My mother Engeltje van Felius – van Ast
Dick van Felius
Isabelle Dekker
Samuel – Fuyumi Namioka

The text is a transcription of poems by

Eric Derluyn
F. van Dixhoorn
Jean Pierre Rawie
Desdemona Ventroni

playing on the silts near Ouwerkerk

Playing on the silts near Ouwerkerk

some things are constant

display none
Northwards

Text by museum MAC’N

Video: Zeeland, Schouwen Duiveland and Tholen, 2004

This is how the artist described her video in the La Misura del Tempo exhibition: “The video tells of the Schouven Duiveland island in Zeeland province in the south of Holland. The artist’s family lived on this island for centuries, in a fully orthodox Protestant environment, and it is here that she has spent much of her life.

The landscape of the video resembles the Venetian lagoon with a sea which leaves its mark on its inhabitants in a profound, sometimes oppressive way. The traumatic 1953 flood (this year is its 50th anniversary) powerfully modified the natural landscape and left a deep wound in its people which has never healed.

Once called ‘the garden of Holland’ the disaster left an arid, desolate land. It took ten years to reclaim land which had remained underwater for a whole year in which time dams were closed and trees planted which grow quickly but have a life cycle of around 50 years. These trees are now starting to die off and the island is once more desolate.

It is the landscape which dominates in the video not the inhabitants whom the artist has not yet gathered the strength to interview. The only ‘human’ presences are the three generations of the artist’s female family members: her grandmother, her mother and the artist herself, filmed in their everyday lives.

The oppressive religious element does not feature: the video simply recounts a return home with the feelings which intersect and link up in it. The artist feels rooted to this land, a land she cannot fit into to although she does her usual rounds, rediscovers her family and the places of her past.

On the dams on which Dekker went for a stroll, to swim, watch and think we meet sheep pasturing on the grass, see ships pass, hear the ever-present church bells and the cries of the seagulls and other birds, so as not to forget.

The images of the Caissons in Ouwerkerk (buildings used to close the dams destroyed by the sea) represent an important point of return, the place where the artist played and a memorius morendus for the islanders who come here to remember their dead.

In the video, images of the Caissons in serene summers are interrupted by the 1953 disaster in the same place. This is the part in which the trauma of the past is felt. The video is a collage of images of the artist’s places and memories accompanied by fragments of her writings and those of the  Dutch poets F. Dixhoorn and Eric Derluyn, and the Italian poet Desdemona Ventroni.

Verso Nord

Testo museum MAC’N

Video: Zeeland, Schouwen Duiveland and Tholen, 2004

Zeeland di Connie Dekker, 2004, così l’artista descrive il suo video nella mostra la misura del tempo : “Il video racconta dell’isola Schouven Duiveland nella provincia di Zelandia, che si trova nel sud dell’Olanda. La famiglia dell’artista abita in quest’isola da secoli, in pieno clima protestante ortodosso, ed è qui che l’artista ha trascorso gran parte della vita.

Nel video domina un paesaggio simile a quello della laguna veneziana, dove il mare incide sul carattere degli abitanti in maniera profonda, talvolta opprimente. La traumatica inondazione del ’53 (quest’anno ricorre il 50esimo anniversario) ha alterato fortemente il paesaggio naturale ed ha lasciato una ferita ancora aperta nella popolazione.

L’isola, una volta chiamata “il giardino d’Olanda”, si è trasformata dopo il disastro in una terra arida e desolata. Per bonificare la terra rimasta sommersa dall’acqua del mare per un anno, ci sono voluti ben dieci anni, in cui sono state chiuse le dighe e sono stati piantati alberi che crescono in fretta ma hanno un ciclo vitale di circa 50 anni.

Ora questi alberi cominciano a morire, e l’isola è di nuovo la terra desolata. In questo video domina il paesaggio, non figurano gli abitanti che l’artista non ha avuto ancora la forza di intervistare. Le uniche presenze “umane” sono rappresentate dalle tre generazioni femminili della famiglia dell’artista: sua nonna, sua madre e l’artista stessa, riprese nella loro vita quotidiana.

Non compare l’elemento religioso opprimente che le circonda: il video racconta semplicemente del ritorno a casa, dove si incrociano e si collegano tutti i sentimenti. L’artista si sente radicata a questa terra in cui allo stesso tempo, le è impossibile inserirsi nonostante compia lo stesso giro abitudinario, riscopra la famiglia, i luoghi del suo passato.

Sulle dighe dove l’artista si recava per passeggiare, nuotare, guardare e pensare si incontrano le pecore che brucano l’erba, si vedono le navi passare, si sente il suono delle campane delle chiese, onnipresente, le grida dei gabbiani e degli altri uccelli marini, per non dimenticare.

Le immagini dei Caissons di Ouwerkerk (costruzioni utilizzate per chiudere le dighe distrutte dal mare) rappresentano un punto di ritorno importante, il luogo dove l’artista giocava e un memorius morendus per gli isolani che qui vengono a ricordare i morti.

Le immagini dei Caissons nelle esteti serene, sono interrotte da quelle del disastro del ’53 nello stesso luogo. Questa è la parte in cui si sente il trauma del passato. Il video è un collage di immagini di luoghi e ricordi dell’artista, accompagnate da frammenti di un suo scritto, di un poeta olandese e di una poetessa italiana”.

 

 

Noordwaards

Tekst Samuel – Fuyumi Namioka

Video: Zeeland, Schouwen Duiveland and Tholen, 2004

De video verhaalt van het eiland Schouwen Duiveland in de provincie Zeeland. De familie van de kunstenaar Connie Dekker is woonachtig op dit eiland in een orthodox protestante setting en het is hier waar de kunstenaar is opgegroeid.

De zee heeft het karakter van zijn inwoners gevormd. De ramp in ’53 heeft wonden achtergelaten die nog niet zijn geheeld. De provincie die eens “de tuin van Holland” werd genoemd, is kaal en desolaat achtergebleven nadat het een jaar onder water heeft gestaan. Het nam jaren in beslag voordat het land weer “rendabel” werd. Na de ramp zijn snel groeiende bomen geplant met een levensduur van 50 jaar, de meeste bomen zijn nu stervende en worden de laatste jaren vervangen door nieuwe aanplant waardoor het eiland er wederom kaal uitziet.

In deze video domineert het landschap, alleen de familie van de kunstenaar, haar moeder en oma, is te zien in een aandoenlijk gesprekje over een konijn dat de ramp overleefde.

De video verhaalt over thuiskomst en de sentimenten die daarmee gepaard gaan. Behalve haar familie bezoekt Dekker de plaatsen die tot haar jeugd behoren. Uitkijkend over zeedijken bevlekt met grazende schapen, zien we de schepen voorbij varen. In de verte horen we het alomtegenwoordige klokgelui van dichtbijgelegen dorpen en de kreten van zeemeeuwen.

De beelden van de Caissons van Ouwerkerk markeren een belangrijke plaats van terugkomst. Hier heeft de kunstenaar als kind vaak gespeeld maar voor veel eilanders vormt het een memorium murendus, waar de slachtoffers van de ramp worden herdacht.

De beelden worden begeleid door teksten van enkele nederlandse en één italiaanse dichter die door Dekker zijn aangepast en bewerkt.

Dichters:
F. van Dixhoorn, Eric Derluyn, Jean Pierre Rawie en Desdemona Ventroni.

Camera: Samuel-Fuyumi Namioka, Connie Dekker.
Montage: Connie Dekker.

Januari 2004.

Close accordions

I return always to the place
From where I left

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