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10 July 2014

Small Universe / The Dutch need to document

The Dutch are among the tallest people in the world, yet they live in one of the world’s smallest countries. Cities in The Netherlands are crowded, houses are small and personal space is hard to find. People and other people’s stuff always surround the Dutch. They are hardly ever alone. In a place where horizons are limited, people make their own: creating new vistas based on their immediate surroundings. Obsessively zooming in on all the little details that make up their small universe. Because, of course, the more you zoom into the world at a micro level, the bigger it gets.

Taking these mundane details as a starting point, Dutch artists create works of surprisingly epic proportions. In “Small Universe,” we see a whole story based on the life of a geranium, a city ordered from a catalogue, a woman who stuffs a Paris catwalk’s worth of clothing into her tiny council apartment.

I like to think that if the country of Holland were an image, it would be a jpeg. This most popular of file compression formats is small on the surface, but when opened contains vast and unexpected riches.

Curated by Erik Kessels

Exhibition venue : Atelier de Chaudronnerie, Parc des Ateliers, Rencontres d’Arles 2014.