Exhibition project Organised Landscape part of The memory of the landscape FLACC Genk 2003
Organised Landscape is a continuation of my former project IN/OUT What is, for you, the difference between interior and exterior architecture? (HISK Antwerp 2002). It raises out of the following questions: what is the difference between inside and outside, open and closed, two and three dimensional, reality and virtuality, form and content, physiology and psychology, event and situation, subjective and objective, individual and general? At the two extremes, the difference is clear to see, but where is the point of transition? What is the essence of the difference? Where are the thresholds?
The IN/OUT project started out from architectural spatiality, an installation composed of scaffolding that redrew the space. What is considered inside and what outside? There is of course no solution, the question remains, and this makes the problem that much more captivating. The horizontal and vertical lines of the scaffolding created a framework, a physical and psychological space in which an image was projected. It created a situation (the scaffolding) in which something could happen (the projection). What was projected was so minimal that an interaction arose between situation and event. The question of which is the more important cannot be answered.
The IN/OUT installation remained an interesting location, while the subsequent video dealt with both new questions and the old ones, but now in a different way. The camera glides through the space and adopts angles reminiscent of the point of view of a player in a virtual landscape.
What does the overall title The memory of the landscape mean? In the broadest sense of the word, the landscape is the reality that surrounds us. History teaches us that evolution involves both quantitative growth and radical breaks. These breaks or shifts seem more unexpected, and we must study this more in order to understand it. What is more, we can immediately link the expected or unexpected to the memory.
Firstly, what is the model and what is the copy? The memory plays an important part in this. Subjectively, the things that remind you of something take place later, though historically it can be the other way round. The subjective memory does not observe the linear laws of history. Secondly, in the urban landscape we find sites that look like enlarged models, instead of being designed at full size. Blocks of houses are composed of elements that are more easily managed on the scale of a model.
Thirdly, new technology has had an influence not only on execution but also on design, whereby the direct link with the previous one is removed. A new design is not based on a previous one but is given a different appearance as a consequence of, for example, software with a different look.
Fourthly, the interdisciplinary nature of the world we live in means that in a particular discipline a project is not necessarily based on a previous one in the same discipline; insights can be acquired elsewhere.
This form of reference has of course been going on for some time, but we are gradually coming to the point where the references themselves form the basis. In the long run, all this brings about a shift. The historical order becomes less important or else is no longer of decisive importance. The subjective memory plays a key part in this, and as a result of our subjective way of remembering, the aesthetic field is reshaped in a way that is no longer linear.
Standing on top of a slagheap you imagine yourself in a model, a surreal landscape. The fascination of such a place lies in man’s changes to nature. The geometric position of the trees creates a pattern, an order. Order is possibly the ultimate human quality. Understanding is equal to ordering.
The perfectly flat truncation of a hill, the slope just slightly too round, the grass stuck on as if in a model, are elements that create associations in the memory, and one cannot determine what was the model and what the copy.